UPDATE: Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct Roiling Congress

Top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi says Conyers, facing sexual misconduct allegations, should resign

THE LATEST on allegations of sexual misconduct against Rep. John Conyers (all times local):

Rep. John Conyers.

7:00 p.m.

As allegations of sexual misconduct against powerful lawmakers roil Congress, House Democrats on Thursday delivered their strongest rebuke yet with calls for Michigan Rep. John Conyers’ resignation, while those in the Senate reserved judgment for their embattled colleague, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi characterized the multiple accusations against the 88-year-old Conyers, which included repeated propositions for sex, and retaliation against one former aide who rebuffed his advances, as “serious, disappointing and very credible.”

In no uncertain terms, the top Democratic in the House said, “Congressman Conyers should resign,” a call echoed by other Democratic leaders.

Conyers’ lawyer, Arnold Reed, swiftly rejected the request as the lawmaker professes his innocence. “Nancy Pelosi did not elect the congressman, and she sure as hell won’t be the one to tell the congressman to leave. That decision will be completely up to the congressman,” Reed said.

Reed raised the specter of a double standard as House Democrats pressed for Conyers, the longest-serving member of the House and a co-founder of the Congressional Black Caucus, to step aside while few have called for Franken to relinquish his seat.

“At the end of the day, I would suspect that Nancy Pelosi is going to have to explain what is the … difference between Al Franken and congressman Conyers,” Reed said.


3:25 p.m.

A fellow Democratic congressman from Michigan has joined the list of lawmakers calling on Rep. John Conyers to resign amid sexual harassment claims.

Multiple women who’ve worked for Conyers have recently said they were subjected to harassment. Conyers has denied any wrongdoing.

Rep. Dan Kildee told CNN on Thursday that nobody “should tolerate that kind of harassment.”

Kildee says it was a difficult decision to call on Conyers to resign. He says no one “likes to believe the person they’ve worked with and that they respect can abuse their power and harass women like this.”

Kildee says his pain extends to the victims “who have to come forward and tell these really difficult stories.”

The top Democrat in the House, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan also urged Conyers to resign earlier Thursday.

Conyers’ attorney has strongly dismissed the resignation calls.


2:35 p.m.

A lawyer for Rep. John Conyers says a former aide who alleges she was sexually harassed by the Detroit congressman is “jumping on the bandwagon.”

Arnold Reed spoke to reporters in Detroit on Thursday. Reed held a news conference shortly after Marion Brown described years of harassment while she worked for Conyers between 2003 and 2014.

Brown told NBC’s “Today” show that she was fired because she rejected his sexual advances. She’s among multiple former staffers who allege improper behavior by the 88-year-old congressman. Conyers denies any wrongdoing.

Reed questioned why Brown stayed on the job if Conyers’ treatment was “so bad, so pervasive.” She says she needed to support her family.

Red also rebuffed calls by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelsoi for Conyers, a fellow Democrat, to resign.


12:55 p.m.

A former staff member for Michigan Rep. John Conyers says she’d testify before Congress about sexual harassment she endured while working in his office.

Marion Brown told The Associated Press on Thursday that she’d go before the House Ethics Committee if asked. Brown says she’d prefer to be subpoenaed. She says other witnesses also would testify under subpoena.

Several fellow House Democrats have called for the 88-year-old Detroit congressman to resign following allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching by women who worked for him.

Brown alleges she was fired because she rejected Conyers’ sexual advances. She says she settled a complaint in 2015 for $27,000.

An attorney for Conyers says the congressman denies the allegations.


12:40 p.m.

A lawyer for U.S. Rep. John Conyers is strongly rejecting calls from the House’s top Democrat for the Detroit congressman to resign.

Conyers has been under pressure after multiple former staffers accused him of sexual harassment. He denies the accusations.

Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said Conyers should resign, saying the accusations are “very credible.”

Attorney Arnold Reed said during a news conference later Thursday that Pelosi “sure as hell won’t be the one to tell the congressman to leave.” Reed says Pelosi didn’t elect him to Congress.

The 88-year-old Conyers is currently hospitalized in Detroit. Reed says he was admitted after feeling light-headed late Wednesday.


11:25 a.m.

The top Democrat in the U.S. House says Michigan Rep. John Conyers should resign in the face of allegations of sexual misconduct.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday that the accusations against Conyers are “serious, disappointing and very credible. It’s very sad.”

Conyers is the longest serving member of the House. He has faced increasing calls from House Democrats for him to step down as several former aides have come forward to accuse him of inappropriate sexual behavior.

On Wednesday, Conyers’ Detroit-area attorney Arnold Reed told the AP that Conyers is innocent and has no plans to step down. Conyers was hospitalized in Detroit on Thursday.

Pelosi told reporters “zero 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.”


9:55 a.m.

A political consultant says U.S. Rep. John Conyers has been hospitalized in Detroit.

Sam Riddle said Thursday he spoke to Conyers’ wife, Monica Conyers. Riddle says he doesn’t know why the Democrat congressman was hospitalized or his condition.

He declined to name the hospital.

The 88-year-old Conyers has been under pressure after multiple women who’ve worked for him accused him of sexual harassment.

He denies the allegations, and his lawyer says he won’t resign. Conyers is the longest-serving member of the U.S. House.

One woman, Marion Brown, told NBC’s “Today” show on Thursday that she was propositioned for sex multiple times over more than a decade before she was fired.


8:40 a.m.

A woman who alleges she was fired because she rejected Congressman John Conyers’ sexual advances has told NBC’s “Today” show that the longest-serving member of the U.S. House subjected her to years of sexual harassment.

Marion Brown said Thursday that the Democrat propositioned her for sex multiple times over more than a decade. She says she stayed on the job because she needed to support her family and found the work rewarding.

The Associated Press left messages Thursday seeking comment from Conyers’ lawyer, who has said the 88-year-old will fight the misconduct allegations.

Last week, BuzzFeed News reported Conyers had settled a complaint in 2015 for $27,000 from a female staffer who alleged she was fired because she rejected his sexual advances.

Brown’s lawyer, Lisa Bloom, confirmed to The Associated Press after the NBC interview aired that Brown was that former employee.


1:30 a.m.

An attorney for U.S. Rep. John Conyers says the 88-year-old lawmaker will fight allegations of sexual misconduct involving former female staff members.

Arnold Reed tells The Associated Press that Conyers is innocent and has no plans to resign. Reed adds that anyone making inappropriate touching or other claims against the Detroit Democrat should be prepared to back them up.

BuzzFeed News reported last week that Conyers settled a complaint in 2015 from a woman who alleged she was fired because she rejected his sexual advances. It says Conyers’ office paid out more than $27,000 in the confidential settlement.

Another former employee, Deanna Maher, said Tuesday that in 1997 Conyers undressed to his underwear in front of her and twice touched her leg inappropriately.

The House Ethics Committee is investigating Conyers.

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