Rep. John Conyers (D) is stepping down as the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee after facing sexual harassment allegations, adding he denies the allegations and looks forward to “vindicating myself and my family before the House Committee on Ethics.”
“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 told New York Times reporter Yamiche Alcindor.
“I deny these allegations, many of which were raised by documents reportedly paid for by a partisan alt-right blogger. I very much look forward to vindicating myself and my family before the House Committee on Ethics,” he added.
NEW: Rep. John Conyers is stepping down as ranking Dem on House Judiciary Committee. "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." Story coming soon.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) November 26, 2017
The House Ethics Committee is investigating Conyers after receiving allegations of sexual harassment and age discrimination involving staff members as well as using “official resources for impermissible personal purposes.”
BuzzFeed reported Monday that his office paid a woman more than $27,000 under a confidentiality agreement to settle a complaint in 2015 that she was fired from his Washington staff because she rejected his sexual advances.
BuzzFeed also published affidavits from former staff members who said they had witnessed the lawmaker touching female staffers inappropriately — rubbing their legs and backs — or requesting sexual favors.
One former staffer said one of her duties was “to keep a list of women that I assumed he was having affairs with and call them at his request and, if necessary, have them flown in using Congressional resources.”
Earlier Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called Conyers an “icon” who has “done a great deal to protect women,” and urged “due process.”
Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) is the only House Democrat to have called for Conyers’ resignation.