Congressman steps down from top post amid sexual harassment investigation

Rep. John Conyers D-Mich. at a hearing of the House Judiciary subcommittee on Crime Terrorism Homeland Security and Investigations

Rep. John Conyers D-Mich. at a hearing of the House Judiciary subcommittee on Crime Terrorism Homeland Security and Investigations

John Conyers, D-Mich., stepped down as Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee amid an ethics investigation into sexual harassment allegations.

Conyers, the longest-serving member of the House, had previously said he wouldn't resign and maintained he still has desire to serve but wouldn't allow the charges to "undermine" his colleagues in the Democratic Caucus.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dodged questions about whether Rep. John Conyers should resign following revelations that he settled a 2015 complaint with a former staffer who claimed she was sacked after refusing his sexual advances.

Rep. Conyers, a 27-term congressman, is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, and he denied reports he settled with a woman in 2015 who claimed she was sacked before she rejected his sexual advances.

The questions from Todd to Pelosi come amid allegations of sexual misconduct claims against Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, which many in Congress have said should disqualify him from Congress before the December 12 special election against Democrat Doug Jones.

Pelosi said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" that there may be a close look at the 88-year-old MI lawmaker's status as the top member on the House Judiciary Committee.

Pelosi continued that she was confident Conyers would "do the right thing" as his case is reviewed, but stopped short of referencing resignation.

RK Nagar seat sees fourth poll preparation
The RK Nagar seat, which Jayalalithaa represented for two terms, has been vacant following her death on December 5 previous year . However, it was subsequently canceled by the Election Commission (EC) over allegations of bribing voters.

The Senate has already approved a measure requiring all senators, staff and interns to be trained on preventing sexual harassment.

Still, she called the accusations against Conyers a "big distraction".

"This is about going forward", she said.

"Even under these unfortunate circumstances, the important work of the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee must move forward", Nadler said.

Conyers said in his statement today, "I would like very much to remain as Ranking Member".

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., who sponsored legislation to overhaul the system by which sexual complaints are made and settled on Capitol Hill, said Congress must show a greater commitment to addressing sexual misconduct.

"This is absolutely a priority that we must focus on in terms of fixing the system", she said on ABC's "This Week". "We must ensure the Congress has a climate of dignity and respect with zero tolerance for sexual harassment".

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