Several members from the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) are privately urging Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers to resign from office following multiple accusations of sexual harassment, according to a CNN report.
Multiple Democratic sources told CNN that the CBC members are trying to figure out how to get Conyers to step down without ruining his legacy in the civil rights movement, the outlet reported Tuesday.
“There is a feeling among some of our members that we need to protect his legacy,” one CBC member’s staffer told the outlet, adding that Conyers helped found the caucus and played a vital role during the civil rights era.
Five women have alleged sexual harassment from the 88-year-old Michigan congressman while working for him. One former employee, Melanie Sloan, alleged that Conyers called her into his office while he was only dressed in his underwear. Another woman, Deanna Maher, accused Conyers of touching her inappropriately when she was in charge of the representative’s Michigan office.
Conyers has denied the allegations of misconduct.
The chairman of the CBC said in a statement that he met privately with Conyers and while he agrees with him stepping down from his committee position, the decision to resign is up to him.
“The Congressional Black Caucus calls on Congress to treat all members who have been accused of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other crimes with parity, and we call on Congress and the public to afford members with due process as these very serious allegations are investigated,” Rep. Cedric Richmond said in a late Tuesday night statement.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal recently called on the representative to step down, a decision she said was difficult for her to make.
“It is not easy for me to reach this conclusion because, as a civil rights activist, I have looked up to Representative Conyers for decades. I believe these women, I see the pattern and there is only one conclusion – Rep. Conyers must resign,” Jayapal said in a tweet.
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