Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) has no plans to resign right now and will fight the numerous allegations of sexual misconduct he faces, the congressman’s attorney told the Washington Post.
“The congressman is a very deliberate person and doesn’t want to make a hasty decision,” attorney Arnold Reed told the Washington Post on Wednesday. “These allegations are untrue, and Mr. Conyers wants the public to know they are untrue. We will weigh and continue to assess his options.”
Over the past two weeks, allegations of sexual misconduct from several former staffers to Conyers have come to light. BuzzFeed News first reported last week that Conyers’ settled a complaint from a former staffer who alleged she was fired for refusing the congressman’s sexual advances. Since then, several more women have come forward with stories of inappropriate touching and unwanted sexual advances from Conyers.
A few of Conyers’ colleagues in Congress have publicly called for him to resign, and the congressman has reportedly faced pressure in private to step down, but most Democratic members who have spoken publicly on the topic have said that Conyers must make the decision himself.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), has reportedly urged Conyers to resign from Congress behind closed doors, but she and other Democratic leaders in the House have declined to publicly call for Conyers to step down.
“Calling for the resignation of someone does not actually create the resignation,” Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), the House Democratic Caucus chairman, told CNN on Wednesday. “So, the reality is we have a process in place and we are calling for an expedited process with the Ethics committee.”
Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus, which Conyers helped found, have also reportedly urged Conyers in private to leave Congress. However, CBC Chair Cedric Richmond (D-LA) has stated publicly that the caucus will leave the decision up to Conyers.
Though Conyers has so far resisted pressure to resign, he did step down as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. Two sources close to Conyers told Detroit television station WDIV that the congressman has decided against running for re-election in 2018. However, Reed denied to the Washington Post that Conyers has decided not to run again.