News Worms
News Worms

Conyers Says He'll 'Step Aside' From Judiciary Panel Amid Harassment Claims

Conyers Says He'll 'Step Aside' From Judiciary Panel Amid Harassment Claims

U.S. Rep. John Conyers said he's stepping down as the ranking Democrat of the House Judiciary Committee amid an ethics investigation into sexual harassment allegations. "I can not in good conscience allow these charges to undermine my colleagues in the Democratic Caucus, and my friends on both sides of the aisle in the Judiciary Committee and the House of Representatives". Melanie Sloan, an attorney and former aide to Conyers, said she was verbally abused by the Democratic congressman, and although she maintains she was not sexually harassed, calling herself "no shrinking violet", she also claims he once summoned her for a meeting while in his underwear.

Conyers, a longtime Michigan Democrat, is now embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal, amid reports that he secretly reached a settlement with a former female staffer.

Conyers said there is "still much work to be done" in "the face of an Administration that cares little for the rule of law and a President whose actions and conduct cheapens our discourse every day" - a jab at the Trump White House.

Pelosi, speaking during an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, called the allegations against Conyers a "big distraction".

The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into Conyers' conduct following the reports.

Conyers has admitted to making the payment to avoid public litigation, but has denied any sexual harassment claims.

The California Democrat noted that the House in the coming week will vote on requiring anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all members and their staffs.

Asked specifically if she believes the women accusing Conyers of misconduc t - who have not been identified in reporting by BuzzFeed News - Pelosi replied: "I do not know who they are".

"This is about going forward", she said.

"Ranking Member Conyers has a 50-year legacy of advancing the cause of justice, and my job moving forward is to continue that critical work", he added. "We must ensure the Congress has a climate of dignity and respect with zero tolerance for sexual harassment".

"The whole system needs to have a comprehensive shift", Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier told ABC's This Week.


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