As allegations over his sexual misconduct continue to mount, Michigan Democrat John Conyers (shown at podium) announced on Sunday that he would step down from the House Judiciary Committee, where he has served as the leading Democrat for 10 years. He said nothing about leaving Congress over the allegations or the pending House Ethics Committee investigation into various other allegations of impropriety, as well. Instead he denied all the allegations:
I have come to believe that my presence as ranking member on the committee would not serve these efforts while the Ethics Committee investigation is pending. I cannot in good conscience allow these charges to undermine my colleagues in the Democratic Caucus, and my friends on both sides of the aisle in the Judiciary Committee and the House of Representatives….
I very much look forward to vindicating myself and my family.
His announcement followed hard on the heels of his admission that he paid $27,000 to a former staffer who charged him with sexual harassment back in 2015. Conyers characterized the payment as an attempt to avoid long, expensive, and likely damaging litigation:
In our country, we strive to honor this fundamental principle that all are entitled to due process. In this case, I expressly and vehemently denied the allegations made against me, and continue to do so. My office resolved the allegations — with an express denial of liability — in order to save all involved from the rigors of protracted litigation.
If this were a one-off incident, it would make sense: one disaffected staffer making a singular complaint during Conyer’s 24 terms in office could be written off as sour grapes. But just this last summer in a separate but similar incident, Conyers paid $50,000 to his former chief of staff, claiming that it was for her “accrued leave time and severance.” The House Ethics Committee is looking into that incident on suspicion that this was payment was hush money.
In 2003, there were complaints filed by six of Conyers’ aides, who said that they were forced to work on various election campaigns, including one for his wife, Monica. There were also irregularities that surfaced in 2014 when he filed petitions to run for office.
And just last week, a new allegation arose against the 88-year-old Congressman when Melanie Sloan told the Detroit Free Press (Conyer’s district includes Detroit) that Conyers invited her to his office to discuss an issue only to find him “walking around in his underwear.” She said, “It made me increasingly anxious and depressed about going to work every day.… There was no way [for me] to fix it. There was no mechanism I could use, no person I could go to.”
Conyers’ corruption extends not surprisingly to his wife, Monica, who spent 27 months in jail for bribery.
The House Ethics Committee is investigating not only the claims of sexual harassment by Conyers but also charges of age discrimination, as well as using “official resources for impermissible personal purposes.”
One wonders why the Democrat Party continues to allow Conyers to remain in office. It seems deaf to demands by people such as House Democrat Kathleen Rice of New York, who has called on him to depart Congress. After all, his hard-left political ideology will continue to be promoted by another far-left liberal on the Judiciary Committee, Representative Jerrod Nadler (D-N.Y.). Said Nadler in learning that Conyers was stepping away from the committee: “I will do everything in my power to press on the important issues facing our committee, including criminal justice reform, workplace equality, and holding the Trump administration accountable.”
A similar question could fairly be raised about the party’s reluctance to dismiss Minnesota Democrat Senator Al Franken for his sexual improprieties. Both would be replaced by other hard-left radicals (Conyers won reelection by 77 percent or higher each time he ran for reelection), so the party would continue to maintain its radical voice in the Congress. The party could distance itself from these sleazy behaviors without damage to its influence. Instead, by remaining steadfastly quiet, it is admitting that it continues to support such behaviors, which could come back and bite it in the midterm elections.
Both Franken and Conyers, however, remain in office, reflecting their anti-American ideologies without restraint. Conyers sports a 100-percent rating from the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Human Rights Campaign, while Freedom Works rates his voting record a dismal 15 percent. The Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity gave him ratings of eight percent and six percent respectively. This confirms Conyers’ constitutional voting record as measured by the Freedom Index published by The John Birch Society of 28 percent.
Franken’s FI is even worse, at just nine out of 100. But both remain in Congress, actively continuing to inflict their damage on the Republic despite increasing evidence of their corruption and moral failures.
Photo of John Conyers: house.gov