Breaking: Conyers makes announcement about stepping aside amid allegations

NOVEMBER 26, 2017

Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich) announced Sunday that he will step aside as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Although he still denies the allegations of sexual misconduct from multiple women who came forward last week, and laid the blame on a “partisan al-right blogger,” Rep. Conyers said he will step aside while the matter is being investigated.

Conyers posted his announcement on Twitter Sunday.

“After careful consideration and in light of the attention drawn by recent allegations made against me, I have notified the Democratic leader of my request to step aside as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee during the investigation of these matters.

“I deny these allegations, many of which were raised by documents reportedly paid for by a partisan alt-right blogger. I very much looking forward to vindicating myself and my family before the House Committee on Ethics.

“To be clear, I would like very much to remain as ranking member. There is still much work to be done on core concerns like securing civil rights, enacting meaningful criminal justice reform, and protecting access to the ballot box. These challenges could not be more pressing 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.

“But I have come to believe that my presence as ranking member would not serve these efforts while the ethics committee investigation is pending. I cannot in good conscience allow those 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.”

He said he is proud of “50 years of fighting for civil rights,” and thanked colleagues “who have called for due process before weighing judgement.”

Earlier Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said on NBC’s Meet the Press, “John  Conyers is an icon in our country. He’s done a great deal to protect women in the Violence Against Women Act, which the right wing is now quoting me as praising him for his work on that. He will do the right thing in terms of what he knows about his situation. He is entitled to due process and the women are entitled to due process as well. I believe he understands what is at stake here and he will do the right thing.”

However, after he stepped down, she posted a statement on Twitter, saying, “Zero tolerance means consequences. I have asked for an ethics investigation, and as that investigation continues, @RepJohnConyers has agreed to step aside as Ranking Member. No matter how great an individual’s legacy, it is not a license for harassment.”

Conyers, 88, has served in the House since 1965, a total of 52 years, making him the longest-serving current member of the House of Representatives. He is also a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus and has been touted as a civil rights icon.