The longest serving member of the U.S. Congress, John Conyers announced that he was stepping aside from his post after being pelted with sexual harassment allegations.
The allegations began after a former staff member came forward last Tuesday. She claimed that Conyers, 88, had paid her $27,000 in 2015 in exchange for her confidentiality. She further stated that she had been fired for rejecting his sexual advances.
Other accusers then came forward, with some claiming he had repeatedly made sexual advances toward them. Some stated that he had inappropriately touched a number of female employees.
Conyers denied the accusations, however he stated that he would step down to clear his name.
Speaking of his decision in a tweet on Sunday, Conyers stated that he would like to maintain his position on the judiciary committee, however he believed it was not “in good conscience”.
He added that he did not want the charges against him to “undermine” his House colleagues.
The House of Ethics Committee has already launched an investigation into the matter. A major portion of the trouble has stemmed from certain documents, which surfaced with the accuser.
However, Conyers stated that the allegations were “paid for by a partisan alt-right blogger”. Responding via his twitter account, Conyers added that he was looking forward to “vindicating” himself and his family “before the House Committee on Ethics”.
The leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi called Conyers an “icon” who had fought for women’s causes.
However, she added that “zero tolerance” extended to all members of the public, no matter how great or small. As such she believed that justice would prevail.