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Longtime Democratic congressman resigns amid sexual harassment allegations

In this May 24, 2016, file photo, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington during a hearing. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

— Besieged by allegations of sexual harassment, Democratic Rep. John Conyers resigned from Congress on Tuesday, bringing an abrupt end to the Detroit liberal's nearly 52-year career in the House.

The 88-year-old civil rights leader becomes the highest-ranking figure on Capitol Hill to be brought down by the sexual misconduct allegations that have toppled powerful men in Hollywood, the media and politics in recent weeks.

Conyers made the announcement on a Detroit radio talk show and endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to succeed him.

"I'm in the process of putting my retirement plans together," the congressman said from the hospital where he was taken last week after complained he felt light-headed. "I am retiring today."

Shadawn Reddick-Smith, Conyers' spokeswoman, said the retirement was effective Tuesday.

"My legacy can't be compromised or diminished in any way by what we're going through now," said Conyers, who has denied any wrongdoing. "This, too, shall pass. My legacy will continue through my children."

Conyers, who was first elected in 1964 and went on to become a founding member in 1971 of the Congressional Black Caucus, easily won re-election last year in the heavily Democratic district. Until Tuesday, he was the longest-serving current member of Congress.

But amid a drumbeat of allegations he groped or sexual harassed women who worked for him, he faced growing calls to resign from colleagues in the House, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

As the furor grew in recent weeks, he stepped down as the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, who replaced Conyers as ranking member on the committee, said he was saddened by the resignation of his "friend and mentor" but added: "There can be no tolerance for behavior that subjects women to the kind of conduct that has been alleged."

The House Ethics Committee had been reviewing the harassment allegations.

Michigan state Sen. Ian Conyers, a grandson of Conyers' brother, told The New York Times he plans to run for the seat.

On Monday, a woman who said she worked for the congressman for more than a decade said he slid his hand up her skirt and rubbed her thighs while she was sitting next to him in the front row of a church.

Elisa Grubbs made the allegation in an affidavit released by her attorney. Grubbs is the cousin of another accuser, Marion Brown, who reached a settlement with Conyers over sexual harassment allegations but broke the confidentiality agreement to speak publicly last week.

Grubbs said in her affidavit that she worked for Conyers in various roles from around 2001 to 2013.

"Rep. Conyers slid his hand up my skirt and rubbed my thighs while I was sitting next to him in the front row of a church," Grubbs said. "I was startled and sprang to my feet and exclaimed, 'He just ran his hand up my thigh!' Other staffers witnessed the event."

She also said she saw repeatedly Conyers touching and stroking the legs and buttocks of Brown and other female staffers. Such behavior "was a regular part of life while working in the office of Rep. Conyers," she said.

She said that one time, when she was at Conyers' home, he came out of the bathroom naked when he knew she was in the room.

"This is about much more than one congressman," Grubbs' attorney, Lisa Bloom, said in an email after Conyers announced his resignation. "Systemic change is urgently needed so no other women have to endure the retaliation, secrecy and delays my client Marion Brown and others experienced."

Conyers' attorney, Arnold Reed, told the Detroit Free Press that the allegations by Grubbs are "another instance of tomfoolery from the mouth of Harvey Weinstein's attorney." Bloom previously represented Hollywood power broker Weinstein, who is accused of sexual misconduct by several women.

Deanna Maher, who ran a Michigan office for Conyers from 1997 to 2005, has also accused him of sexual misconduct. And a former scheduler complained of sexual harassment and retaliation.

Comments

Justin Hoffman

What’s wrong with liberals these days?

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Summers

Congenital Liberals behavior have been suspect for eons.

The difference , "these days" is the efficiency of information transformation of their behavior to the general populations.

Anyone on social network knows in an instant what is going on with their behavior.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Kevin Elliott

Well, the FACT that conservatives in sex scandals outweigh Liberals 4 to 1, and the fact that liberals have been forced out while conservatives are elect their sexual predators to office, and rally around their pedophiles makes your comment seem very uneducated and patently false. If you need to lie or deceive to try and make your point, that deems you completely pointless.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

"...the FACT that conservatives in sex scandals outweigh Liberals 4 to 1..." Citation, please?

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

What? What happened to innocent until proven guilty. Weren't you saying that about Moore? What about that creepy Farenthold who actually used tax dollars to pay off his accusers? When is he resigning? Or is do you consider that "financial responsibility".

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Richard Heckler

Trump has 24 allegations currently pending so I read..... where is his resignation?

In addition it seems the GOP has indulged heavily in a variety of sexual harassment which includes conservative women participating in the matter.

This is sexual harassment!

Yes there is a lot of activity in the news regarding sexual harassment. It is good thinking to take a closer look at the issue in order to document the many sources of sexual harassment. How pervasive is the issue?

War On Women = Sexual Harassment

1. The Battle Against Birth Control
2. The Contraception Coverage Debate
3. Intensifying Attacks on Choice
4. Stopping the Violence Against Women Act
5. Fighting Equal Pay Laws
6. Conclusion

http://www.pfaw.org/report/the-war-on...

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Summers

You wish Heckler.

You remind me of that Garrison Keillor character that used to talk gibberish like you do.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Gary Stussie

Nice try diverting to GOP in article about retirement of "liberal icon " serial sexual harasser.

Sorry Richard, your team has lost the War on Women battle cry.

Hollywood, media and congress is clearly a haven for abusers. Additionally, with nearly 60,000,000 total abortions in the United States since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 even Progressive women are abandoning Pro-Life and Pro-Choice in favor of Pro-Responsibility

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Greg Cooper

Don't think you understand, Gary. Progressive women have ALWAYS been pro-responsibility. You just miss the part that explains responsibility as something other than "make 'em have the did at any cost". You know, the "pro life" mantra, the one that means have the kid but we won't help in any way after that.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

Democrats have been excusing / enabling sexual harassment of women by liberal politicians for years.https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2017/11/27/trainwreck-pelosi-defends-icon-conyers-says-bill-clintons-sexual-misconduct-didnt-impact-his-job-n2414282

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Summers

eons

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Greg Cooper

Bob, truthfully, substitute "politicians" for "Democrats" and delete "liberal" from your comment and you are absolutely correct.

Also, to all of you apologists, no action against anyone based on sex is excusable just because someone else did it. That reasoning is childish.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Brock Masters

The issue that is disturbing to me as much as the sexual abuse by our elected officials is why do we tolerate the government funding of an organization that engages in racial discrimination - the Congressional Black Caucus which Conyer helped found?

The CBC sends two messages - 1 it is okay to discriminate based on race and 2 black people are different simply because of their skin color. Is this the message we want to send? I don’t think so. Racial discrimination is wrong - period and skin color does not define any person.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Summers

"skin color does not define any person".

You are deluding yourself. It means EVERYTHING to the Liberal.

Look at Obama. He used his White privilege from his mother's side, to play up his skin color, from his father's side, with his Liberal base.

They loved him for it.

If anyone said they disagreed with his policies you were immediately tagged with their favorite code word "racist".

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Rick Masters

And, and...the e-mails!

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

This is going to irk the GOP and Trump. There are a lot of real men out there, but if you aren't a real man, look out. Democrat, Republican, rich, poor, keep you hands to your self and your pants on.

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/sex...

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Richard Heckler

The greater majority of republicans are wing nuts masqerading as republicans who have no intention of working with the USA 99% who are actually the financial backbone of America.

The Issues:

Privatization : the act of funneling tax dollars into private industry bank accounts. Pyramid Scheme if you will.

What's going on behind the secret doors of ALEC?

Public School Privatization = Many thousands of teachers losing their jobs




Social Security Insurance Privatization



Medicare Insurance Privatization



Public Water Services
 Privatization


Wall Street Scams



Big Bank Scams



More USA jobs still going abroad.

Student loan rip off = WHERE IS THE FBI?

http://www.motherjones.com/search/apa...

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/...

http://video.pbs.org/video/1485280975/



Your right to vote - keep checking your registration = WHERE IS THE FBI?



http://www.BallotBandits.org

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

For those who aren't regular visitors to this site the above post is Richard's version of yelling "SQUIRREL!" He's posted that same set of links dozens, if not hundreds, of times.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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Gary Stussie

"The greater majority of republicans are wing nuts masquerading as republicans who have no intention of working with the USA 99% who are actually the financial backbone of America."

Richard ... think about what you are saying ... I am willing to bet that the percentage of voters who are either unemployed, on welfare or milking the system somehow is significantly higher in the liberal ranks than on the republican side. In short, the "financial backbone" of which you speak is primarily Republican.

4 months, 2 weeks ago

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