There’s a change in the air in the public eye in America right now. It is an incredibly sensitive time for both those in the media and those in the government. Pretty much, anyone in a position of power- is currently on very thin ice with the rest of us. That is, if they have something to hide.
I’m talking about the sweeping wave of sexual harassment allegations that have been voiced after years of silence against both famous people and government officials. What a time to be alive!
Following the long string of women coming forward for sexual allegations against government officials like Roy Moore, allegations have now been made about prominent Democratic lawmakers. More recently, Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan and Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina. Conyers is quite literally the longest-serving member of Congress, and along with Clyburn, is a longtime leader of the Congressional Black Caucus.
House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that, Conyer should resign due to “serious, disappointing and very credible” accusations of sexual harassment leveled against him, according to The Washington Post.
As recently as Wednesday, Clyburn had questioned the veracity of Conyers’ accusers. Clyburn’s change of position was first reported by Politico. Even House Speaker Paul Ryan called on Rep. John Conyers to resign over sexual misconduct allegations.
“Yes, I think he should resign,” Ryan, R-Wis., said. “I think he should resign immediately.”
Conyers, 88, took office in 1965. Women employees accused him of unwanted sexual advances, one of which resulted in a settlement paid from his office budget. He currently is being hospitalized in Detroit for what his spokesman called “stress-related illness.” Maybe it has something to do with being accused by multiple women of inappropriately touching them and soliciting them for sex during the last 20 years.
It was mostly thanks to Marion Brown, a former aide, who decided to go public on NBC’s “Today” show to detail the congressman’s alleged inappropriate behavior. Brown received a $27,000 settlement in 2015 after being fired. She said she was dismissed in retaliation for refusing his advances.
Reading from a statement, Pelosi added that Conyers had served for more than half a century “and shaped some of the most consequential legislation of the last half-century.”
He has denied guilt and has said through a spokesman that he had no immediate plans to resign. Conyers lawyer, Arnold Reed, held a conference on Thursday outside Conyers’ home in Michigan, speaking on Conyers behalf stating that he had no immediate plans of resigning.
“It’s not up to Nancy Pelosi. 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 the Conyers family is asking for privacy while the congressman is being treated in the hospital. But Nancy Pelosi is not backing down. On Thursday she officially became one of the latest and highest-profile members of Congress to seek his resignation in the aftermath of harassment accusations.
“The allegations against Congressman Conyers, as we have learned more since Sunday, are serious, disappointing and very credible. It’s very sad,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told reporters during a news conference at the Capitol today. “The brave women who came forward are owed justice. I pray for Congressman Conyers and his family, and wish them well. However, Congressman Conyers should resign.”
In fact, even Conyers’ hometown newspaper The Detroit Free Press and several members of the House Democratic Caucus publicly also called for his resignation.