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

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., speaks during a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, April 4, 2017 in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who several ex-staffers have accused of sexual harassment and misconduct, on Sunday said he will “step aside” as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee while the chamber’s ethics panel investigates the allegations.

“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,” Conyers said in a statement.

Conyers said he denies the accusations and “very much” looks forward to “vindicating” himself before the House Ethics Committee, which announced last week that it was opening an investigation into the accusations against Conyers.

BuzzFeed News reported last week that several former staffers of Conyers accused him of asking them for sexual favors and inappropriately touching them. Conyers admitted that he reached a settlement agreement with one former staffer who alleged she was fired after refusing his advances.

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) called last week for Conyers to resign from Congress. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Sunday declined to say whether Conyers should step down from the House.