Growing number of Michigan Reps. calling for Conyers to step down
Three Michigan representatives are now calling for their colleague, U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., to resign following allegations of sexual harassment.
U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., was the first Democratic congressman from Michigan to urge Conyers step down from the seat he first won in 1964, telling CNN the people cannot tolerate an act that is an abuse of power.
“I think Congressman Conyers should resign,” Kildee said on CNN. “No person … should have to tolerate what has been alleged.”
Kildee is now joined by U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., and Sander Levin, D-Mich., in that request, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Many other members of Congress have called for Conyers’s resignation as well, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Conyers, the longest currently serving member of Congress, is considered a prominent civil rights activist, and some worry these allegations will discredit the advancements he has made for the Civil Rights movement. However, Pelosi stood by a zero tolerance perspective regardless of the consequences.
“The allegations against Congressman Conyers, as we've heard more and more since Sunday, are serious, disappointing and very credible,” she said. “It's very sad. A brave woman came forward. … Zero tolerance means consequences for everyone — no matter how great a legacy is no license to harass or discriminate.”
However, Conyers’ attorney, Arnold Reed, argued members of Congress should hold no stake in whether or not Conyers leaves office, but rather it should be the choice of his constituents.
“It is not up to Nancy Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi did not elect Mr. Conyers,” Reed said in a press conference, according to NBC. “And she sure as hell won't be the one to tell the congressman to leave.”
Fellow longtime member of the Congressional Black Caucus, U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., and U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., also agreed Conyers should step down. Still, the rest of Michigan’s congressional delegation has yet to make a statement on Conyers since last week’s allegations.
Conyers has already stepped down from his seat as the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, and was hospitalized Thursday morning due to to stress.