UPDATE 3 — 12/5, 3:06 p.m. EST: Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) submitted resignation papers to Speaker Paul Ryan Tuesday, ending a six-decade tenure for the Detroit congressman in the House of Representatives.
Candidates for the now-open congressional seat include two of Conyers’ family members, son John III and great-nephew Ian Conyers. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has discretion as to when the special House election will be held, which could be as late as November 2018.
UPDATE 2 — 11/30, 8:03 a.m. EST: Sources told WDIV Local 4 in Detroit Wednesday that John Conyers will not seek reelection in 2018 amid an internal investigation in Congress of multiple accusations related to sexually inappropriate behavior with former staff members.
Earlier in the day, Arnold Reed, an attorney representing the Democratic congressman, said Conyers will not resign from the House of Representatives and plans to “fight these allegations tooth and nail”.
UPDATE — 11/28, 5:04 p.m. EST: CNN is reporting “several” members of the Congressional Black Caucus, with the support of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, are urging Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) to resign.
A CBC staffer told the media outlet that “some” African-American congresspeople are sensitive to Conyers’ six-decade tenure in the House, and feel a “need to protect his legacy.”
Mr. Conyers is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, established in 1971.
Long-time Democratic Congressman John Conyers has resigned his position as ranking member of the House Committee on the Judiciary over allegations he sexually harassed female employees in his office.
The Detroit-area representative maintains his innocence and says he is looking forward to “vindicating myself and my family,” after being accused of sexual harassment and using $27,000 in office funds to pay a settlement filed by an unnamed former staffer who claimed wrongful dismissal.
“I have come to believe that my presence as ranking member on the committee would not serve these efforts while the Ethics Committee investigation is pending. I cannot in good conscience allow these 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,” Conyers said in a statement Sunday.
Mr. Conyers has acknowledged a settlement was paid to the staffer in-question, but denied it involved sexual harassment and said he did not try to withhold the payment from public view. Conyers, 88, has served in the House of Representatives since 1965.
Early on Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) defended Conyers. Refusing to make a judgement over accusations leveled against the Michigan Democrat, Pelosi described him as an “icon” and told Meet the Press host Chuck Todd she believes Conyers deserves due process and a judgement should be rendered by the House Ethics Committee.
On Monday, a former staffer to Conyers, Melanie Solan, accused Conyers of harassment and recounted one occasion in which Conyers requested her to his office and upon entry, Sloan found the congressman milling around in his undergarments.
Sloan said she approached superiors and a-then-House Democratic leader with her experience, but was not able to receive help. The experience with Conyers and failure to find assistance led Sloan to leave Conyers’ staff.
In Conyers’ absence, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, (D-N.Y.) is expected to assume the role of ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.
[ABC News] [Fox News] [AP] [CNN] [Photo courtesy NBC News]