Embattled Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) announced Sunday that he will step down as a ranking member of the Congressional House Judiciary Committee as new sexual assault allegations come to light against the senior Democratic leader.
"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 Sunday afternoon.
"I deny these allegations, many of which were raised by documents reportedly paid for by a partisan alt-right blogger," the statement continued. "I very much look forward to vindicating myself and my family before the House Committee on Ethics."
The "alt right blogger" Conyers refers to is Mike Cernovich. He said he gave the story to BuzzFeedNews understanding most would discredit his claims as a far right-conspiracy.
As Leah reported, Conyers' questionable practices are resurfacing after BuzzFeedNews reported his four separate sexual harassment settlements.
"Michigan Rep. John Conyers reportedly settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former staffer who accused the Democrat of firing her because she would not “succumb to [his] sexual advances.”
Four former staffers signed affidavits alleging that the longest serving House member made repeated sexual advances to his female staffers as well as having members of his staff contact and transport women they believe he was having affairs with. Two of the women stated in their affidavits that they thought he was using office funds to pay for their travel to and from his apartment and hotel rooms.
Among the other inappropriate sexual behavior named was caressing, touching, and asking for sexual favors.
The woman who settled with the congressman went through a lengthy process in dealing with Conyers’ unwanted sexual advances."
Indeed, since that story broke more details have come to light such as the lewd and disgusting accustaion made by Rep. Conyers' former attorney, Melanie Sloan.
As Cortney noted, Conyers' supposedly answer his door in his underwear.
"...She was called to Conyers’ office in the Rayburn House Office building for a meeting and, when she got there, he was in his underwear.
“He was just walking around in his office, not dressed,” she said. “He wasn’t doing it to hit on me. It was more like he could do what he wanted. I was quite shocked by it and left quickly.”
Although Sloan recalls being "increasingly anxious and depressed"about going to work, like many victims of sexual assault on Capitol Hill, she was reluctant to report cases of sexual harassment for fear of being alienated (Sloan says she was once told she was "mentally unstable" for making such allegations against Conyers), or because the process of reporting to the Office of Compliance was too cumbersome.” (Emphasis added)
Conyers steps down as controversy swirls around Capitol Hill regarding Congress' handling of sexual harassment.