The Detroit Free Press, hometown newspaper of Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., has called for the congressman to resign following reports that he settled at least two sexual harassment complaints with former staffers; however, his fellow party members have taken a much softer stance on the situation.
The Free Press editorial, published Tuesday night, calls on Conyers to leave his post, despite the editors’ praise of his tenure in the House of Representatives:
He has been an undisputed hero of the civil rights movement, a legislator of uncommon influence and power, and an aging icon whose felonious wife and sometimes-wandering pace have confounded his place in history.
But the revelations of Conyers’ alleged sexual harassment scandal and his documented use of taxpayer dollars to bury that scandal, in violation of congressional ethics rules, is less ambiguous.
It is the kind of behavior that can never be tolerated in a public official, much less an elected representative of the people.
But so far, none of his fellow party members of either chamber have called for the same. While multiple congressional Democrats have said that Conyers should face an ethics investigation for his behavior, so far only Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., has even said that he should leave his position as a ranking member on the powerful House Judiciary Committee.
Rep. Gregory Meeks tells @CNN this hour that Rep. Conyers should step down as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee while he is being investigated.
— Juana Summers Markland (@jmsummers) November 22, 2017
This treatment is almost identical to that of Sen. Al Franken, who also faces multiple accusations of sexual harassment, though there is currently no public evidence that Franken has ever used taxpayer dollars to quiet claims brought against him, as Conyers has.
Update: On Wednesday, Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., became the first House Democrat to publicly call for Conyers’ resignation.
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