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Pressure mounts on U.S. Rep. Conyers after sexual harassment allegations

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Pressure mounts on U.S. Rep. Conyers after sexual harassment allegations

By Amanda Becker



FILE PICTURE: Committee chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) holds a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the George W. Bush presidency, called "Executive Power and Its Constitutional Limitation", on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 25, 2008. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative John Conyers faced additional fallout on Wednesday related to sexual harassment accusations made by former staffers, as a fellow Democrat called for his resignation and two more suggested he give up a prominent committee post.


The House of Representatives Ethics Committee said on Tuesday it was investigating the allegations, first reported on Monday by BuzzFeed News, that Conyers made unwanted sexual advances towards women who worked for him.


A separate Buzzfeed report on Tuesday, citing court documents, detailed allegations by another former staffer who said she suffered unwanted touching by Conyers "repeatedly and daily" while serving as the Michigan Democrat's scheduler.


"Rep. John Conyers should resign. I've reviewed the allegations against him, and they're as credible as they are repulsive," Democratic Representative Kathleen Rice wrote in a statement.


The allegations, which Reuters was unable to independently confirm, also prompted Conyers' hometown paper, the Detroit Free Press, to call for his resignation.


Conyers, 88, is the longest-serving House lawmaker and is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.


In a statement on Tuesday that referred to the first BuzzFeed report, Conyers said he "expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made about me."


In a subsequent statement on the second set of allegations, a Conyers spokesman told BuzzFeed the staffer had voluntarily decided to drop her case.


Democratic Representative Gregory Meeks called on Wednesday for Conyers to give up his senior post on the House Judiciary Committee. "I really think probably the appropriate thing right now is he should step down as the ranking member," Meeks told CNN.


Democratic Representative Raul Grijalva, a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, of which Conyers is also a member, agreed, telling C-SPAN that "as agonizing as it might be for all of us, the ranking member needs to step down at the minimum."


In its editorial on Tuesday, the Detroit Free Press said the allegations marked "the kind of behaviour that can never be tolerated in a public official, much less an elected representative of the people."


Conyers' office did not respond to a request for comment on his colleagues' comments and the editorial.


Congress is reviewing its policies on how to handle sexual harassment complaints after a string of allegations against prominent figures in the U.S. news media, Hollywood and politics.


(Reporting by Amanda Becker; Additional reporting by Eric Beech and Makini Brice; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney)

-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-11-23

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At 88, he could probably be charged with assault with a dead weapon.   

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The problems with this article begin with the headline "Pressure mounts on U.S. Rep. Conyers after sexual harassment allegations"


That is because there are not only allegations, there were settlements, witness affidavits and NDAs to keep it secret.


The story is even much bigger in a broader context when you find out that the "Office of Compliance" has settled 264 cases

with taxpayer money totaling 17 million USD in the last 20 years. (mind you some of these cases could be for other matters)


I've personally had enough, unseal all 264 deals, let the chips fall where they may.

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BANGKOK 21 March 2018 02:37