Monday, 11 December, 2017

Conyers resigns from Congress amid harassment allegations

Rep. John Conyers D-Mich. seen in 2011 has resigned over allegations of sexual harassment Rep. John Conyers D-Mich. seen in 2011 has resigned over allegations of sexual harassment. J. Scott Applewhite AP
Howard Terry | 06 December, 2017, 00:28

In an amended statement released to 7 Action News last week, Conyers said, "I expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made against me, and continue to do so".

Last week, calls for Conyers' resignation grew louder, as House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, a key ally of Conyers, called on him to leave office in the wake of the allegations. Conyers influenced debates over each issue as a member and, eventually, the chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee.

While Democrats appear to be taking sexual harassment allegations seriously-even those filed against congressmen with so much power and sway they were considered "untouchable"-yesterday Donald Trump endorsed an alleged child molester (and confirmed bigot/theocrat/racist) running for the Senate in Alabama".

Conyers was first elected in 1964 and is a founding member of the CBC. More and more women began to speak out against Conyers.

Earlier, Conyers' grand nephew, Michigan State Senator Ian Conyers, told the New York Times that he planned to run for the elder Conyers' seat. Conyers has denied all the allegations, and on Tuesday, wrote the accusations off as "politics".

The sexual harassment allegations against Conyers surfaced November 20 after BuzzFeed News reported he settled a wrongful dismissal complaint with an employee in 2015 for $27,000 in exchange for a confidentiality agreement and that he made advances toward female staffers, including requests for sexual favors, caressing their hands in a "sexually suggestive" way, and rubbing their legs and backs in an inappropriate manner while in the office or in public. In the affidavit, Grubbs said Brown told her, "That SOB just wanted me to have sex with him".

Brown said she came forward because she wants "to be a voice", and so that her granddaughter would "not have to endure sexism and gender inequality".

Grubbs witnessed assault on other women.

In April 1968, four days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Conyers introduced the first bill proposing a holiday in his honor.

Conyers' district includes parts of Detroit, Dearborn Heights and all of the cities of Ecorse, Garden City, Highland Park, Inkster, Melvindale, Redford, River Rouge, Romulus, Wayne and Westland.

Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas and Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen of Nevada have all rebuffed calls for them to step down, though Farenthold has said he won't seek re-election next year. "They are not true and I think they are something that I can't explain where they came from". "I think we have to recognize and be able to hold the dueling possibilities that somebody can be a great man and have done great things for our country and for civil rights but also have done bad things that require accountability".

Several women have accused the Michigan Democrat, who is the most senior member of Congress, of verbal abuse, inappropriate touching and groping over decades.

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