Conyers’ Lawyer Says Congressman Has No Plans To Resign Amid Accusations

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., leaves his home Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, in Detroit. Rep. Conyers is being pressured by some in Washington to resign. Rep. Conyers recently stepped down from his post as top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee after facing allegations of sexual harassment by former staffers. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/AP

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has no intention of resigning despite multiple sexual harassment allegations made against him, an attorney for the congressman said Wednesday.

“He’s not going to be forced out of office, and no one has told him he has to leave,” Conyers’ attorney, Arnold Reed, told the Detroit News Wednesday. “He has not indicated he’s going to resign at this point.” The Associated Press reported later that Conyers’ lawyer said the congressman has no plans to resign.

BuzzFeed News first reported last week on a former Conyers staffer who reached a $27,000 settlement deal with her former boss in 2015 after she was allegedly fired for refusing his advances.

Conyers has acknowledged the settlement but denies wrongdoing. He claimed he settled in order to avoid “the rigors of protracted litigation.” He’s since been accused of harassment by other staffers, independent of each other, including unwanted touching, requests for sexual favors and verbal abuse.

Only four Democratic members of Congress — Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) — have called for Conyers’ resignation. He is the longest currently serving member of the House of Representatives.

Rice, frustrated at what she characterized as her caucus’ failure to take harassment seriously, left a meeting of House Democrats early Wednesday morning, according the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel. “I don’t have time for meetings that aren’t real,” she said.

Conyers has temporarily stepped aside from his role as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee and is subject to a probe by the House Ethics Committee.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

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