The Latest: Aide says Pelosi pressing Conyers to resign
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on alleged sexual misconduct by Rep. John Conyers (all times local):
A senior Democratic aide says House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has been putting pressure on Rep. John Conyers to resign from the chamber. The aide also says members of the Congressional Black Caucus have laid out arguments to the Michigan Democrat about why he should resign but have acknowledged that it’s his decision.
The 88-year-old Conyers faces allegations that he’s sexually harassed employees. Conyers has denied the accusations.
Conyers relinquished his post as top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sunday after revelations that he reached a 2015 settlement with a former aide who said she was fired after refusing his sexual advances.
Conyers met with Black Caucus members Tuesday.
The aide spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal private conversations.
— Alan Fram
The leader of the Congressional Black Caucus says Rep. John Conyers faces “a personal decision” about whether to resign from the House. Conyers is facing allegations that he made unwanted sexual advances to an aide two decades ago.
Louisiana Democrat Cedric Richmond chairs the caucus, and members of the group met Tuesday with Conyers. The Michigan Democrat has already relinquished his post as top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee following reports that he settled a 2015 complaint from a female aide who alleged she was fired because she rejected his sexual advances.
Richmond says resigning from the chamber is “a personal decision” for Conyers and his family.
Asked if he believes Conyers will make the right decision, Richmond says, “He always does.”
A Democratic congresswoman is calling on Rep. John Conyers to resign following allegations of sexual misconduct.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state says the country is in the midst of “a watershed moment” and finally “seems to be waking up and realizing we need to have a zero tolerance policy toward sexual harassment.”
She says Democrats “cannot pick and choose,” lambasting President Donald Trump and Alabama Senate candidate Roy “and then turn a blind eye to our own who face credible charges against them.”
Jayapal says she believes the women who made complaints against Conyers, a 27-term lawmaker from Detroit and a former Judiciary Committee chairman. Jayapal is on the committee.
She says: “I see the pattern and there is only one conclusion — Mr. Conyers must resign.”
A former deputy chief of staff for Michigan Rep. John Conyers says he made “sexual advances” toward her, including partially undressing in front of her in a hotel suite during a 1997 Congressional Black Caucus event.
Deanna Maher tells The Associated Press she also was touched without her consent in 1998 and 1999, but didn’t report the incidents because she needed the job.
Maher’s allegations initially were reported by The Detroit News. The 77-year-old Maher ran one of Conyers’ Michigan offices from 1997 to 2005.
The 88-year-old Conyers was first elected to Congress in 1964.
Conyers’ attorney Arnold Reed tells the AP that the Detroit Democrat denies harassing Maher or any other woman making similar claims.
Reed says Conyers will cooperate with any investigation into sexual harassment allegations.
The top House Democrat is urging the Ethics Committee to move swiftly and fairly in investigating allegations of sexual misconduct against Michigan Rep. John Conyers.
In a letter released Tuesday, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote that the committee has a great responsibility to “proceed expeditiously as well as fairly into any investigation of credible harassment and discrimination allegations.”
Pelosi told the panel that the nation is at a watershed moment in the fight against sexual harassment and if lawmakers need any additional resources to pursue its investigations, please make that need known.
Conyers has stepped down as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, but the 88-year-old lawmaker indicates that he will not resign from Congress and will fight allegations he sexually harassed female staff members.
A former deputy chief of staff for Rep. John Conyers says the veteran lawmaker made unwanted sexual advances toward her, including inappropriate touching.
Deanna Maher, who ran a Michigan office for him from 1997 to 2005, told The Detroit News that there were three instances of inappropriate conduct.
She says the first was in 1997 during an event with the Congressional Black Caucus, when she rejected his offer to share a hotel room and have sex.
The others involved unwanted touching in a car in 1998 and unwanted touching of her legs under her dress in 1999.
Conyers’ attorney Arnold Reed questioned why Maher continued to work for him after the alleged incidents.
Maher says she needed a job at age 57 and feared no one would hire her.