Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and minority leader Nancy Pelosi are calling on Michigan Rep. John Conyers to resign over sexual misconduct allegations.
"Yes, I think he should resign," said Ryan. "I think he should resign immediately."
Ryan’s call for Conyers to quit Congress came moments after Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made the same request. She called the allegations against Conyers “serious, disappointing and very credible. It’s very sad.”
Conyers, 88, took office in 1965. He’s currently the longest serving Congressman. However, Pelosi said that his legacy doesn’t excuse his actions.
Pelosi told reporters, “[Z]ero tolerance means consequences—for everyone no matter how great the legacy it’s not licensed to harass or discriminate. In fact, it makes it even more disappointing.”
Conyers is accused by several female employees, who say he subjected them to unwanted sexual advances. One of these incidents resulted in a settlement paid from his office budget. The allegations cover the last 20 years.
Conyers is currently hospitalized in Detroit for what his spokesman called "stress-related illness.” On Wednesday, an attorney for Conyers says the lawmaker will not resign amid sexual harassment allegations. Arnold Reed told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Conyers is going to fight claims that he inappropriately touched several women.
Marion Brown, the woman who came forward to accuse Conyers in the initial Buzzfeed report earlier this month, went on the “Today” show to talk about the abuse. She said that during the time she worked for him as his deputy chief of staff from 2003-2014, he propositioned her several times.
“It was sexual harassment, violating my body, propositioning me, inviting me [to a] hotel with the guise of discussing business and then propositioning me,” she said. “He’s just violated my body, he has touched me in different ways and it was very uncomfortable and very unprofessional”
Brown said she reported it to her boss. However, no change ever came of her report.
“There was a time I reported to who was the chief of staff at that time in Detroit and he was my boss,” she said.
“He said he would talk to the congressman about it. He didn’t challenge me in disbelief, he said he would talk to the congressman about his behavior and then I didn’t see any change because it continued after that.”
Multiple other women also gave statements to support Brown's case. They said Conyers was a repeat offender when it came to harassment. They also said he used taxpayer money to fly women in with whom he was having affairs.
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