WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich. (all times local):
Michigan congressman John Conyers is giving up his leadership position as top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. His decision comes ahead of a congressional probe into allegations of sexual harassment made against him.
Conyers says he doesn’t want the allegations to undermine his colleagues in the Democratic caucus or those who serve on the Judiciary committee or in the House in general.
The 88-year-old lawmaker indicates that he will not resign from Congress and will keep fighting the allegations that he sexually harassed female staff members.
In a statement Sunday, Conyers said he looks forward to vindication. He is the longest-serving active member of Congress, and the only African-American to have held the position of chairman or ranking member on the Judiciary panel.
Michigan Rep. John Conyers says he is stepping aside as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee amid a congressional investigation into allegations he sexually harassed female staff members.
In a statement Sunday, the 88-year-old Conyers says he denies the allegations and would like to keep his leadership role on the panel. But he says he “cannot in good conscience” allow the charges to be an undue distraction to his House colleagues while the investigation is continuing.
The House Ethics Committee is investigating Conyers after receiving allegations of sexual harassment and age discrimination involving staff members as well as using “official resources for impermissible personal purposes.”
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi is defending Democratic Rep. John Conyers as an “icon” for women’s rights and declining to say whether the longtime lawmaker should resign over allegations that he sexually harassed female staff members.
Pelosi insists that Conyers deserves “due process” and will “do the right thing” after Congress returns from Thanksgiving break on Monday.
Still, she called the accusations against Conyers a “big distraction.”
Pelosi said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that there may be a close look at the 88-year-old Michigan lawmaker’s status as the top member on the House Judiciary Committee.
The House Ethics Committee is investigating Conyers after receiving allegations of sexual harassment and age discrimination as well as using “official resources for impermissible personal purposes.” Conyers has said he would fully cooperate.