By Sarah Maugaotega 11/29/2017
Michigan Congressman John Conyers stepped down from his position as the ranking Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee, following sexual harassment accusations.

Conyers denies the accusations and says he stepped down because of the ongoing House Ethics Committee investigation. In a statement he said, “To be clear, I would like very much to remain as ranking member, there is still much work to be done on core concerns like securing civil rights, enacting meaningful criminal justice reform, and protecting access to the ballot box.” 

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Nanci Pelosi defended the congressman, mentioning his involvement in the Violence Against Women Act, and urged due process before passing judgment on Conyers. 
Conyers’ office confirmed issuing a settlement of over $27,000 to a former employee who said she was fired for resisting his sexual advances. The congressman has acknowledged the payout, which he said amounted to a severance package, but he denied the allegations about what it was for. The 2015 settlement was the result of a secretive process Congress uses to handle harassment claims, and the money came out of Conyers’ taxpayer-funded office budget. 
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