As allegations of sexual misconduct against veteran Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) continue to mount, members of the Congressional Black Caucus are looking to get him to resign from the House of Representatives.
Conyers is the longest currently serving member of the House, and as such, the CBC members are looking for a way to ease his exit without diminishing his legacy of 50-plus years of service in Congress, according to CNN.
Conyers was a leading figure in the civil rights movement and is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and it is because of that history that “there is a feeling among some of our members that we need to protect his legacy,” a CBC staffer told CNN.
After reports surfaced last week that Conyers had settled a wrongful termination complaint in 2015 with a former employee who accused him of sexual harassment, the House Ethics Committee announced that it was opening an investigation into the allegations against him.
On Sunday, Conyers stepped down as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, but he has maintained that he will not resign from Congress. Since that time, more allegations against him have come up.
Deanna Maher, a former staffer who worked for Conyers from 1997 to 2005, told the Detroit News on Tuesday that he made unwanted sexual advances toward her three times while she was employed by him.
Maher is only the second former Conyers staffer to come forward publicly.
In typical victim-blaming fashion, Conyers’ attorney Arnold Reed asked why Maher remained employed with Conyers for so many years after the alleged sexual harassment incidents happened.
In response, Maher said, “I needed to earn a living and I was 57. How many people are going to hire you at that age?”
As if she even needed to explain her reasons for not coming forward until now.