A lawyer for Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) said the lawmaker will not resign as the House Ethics Committee conducts an ethics investigation into his alleged misconduct.
“Mr. Conyers is not going to resign,” Conyers’ attorney, Arnold Reed, told CNN on Wednesday. “If everybody that was facing ‘allegations’ — including the President, members of the House and Senate — resigned, we’d have a lot of unemployed people walking around.”
Conyers’ attorney added that the congressman is not taking the allegations against him lightly.
Reed argued that his client, the longest-serving House member, is not guilty of sexually harassing the women who went public with their allegations.
“It didn’t happen,” Reed said.
A BuzzFeed News report revealed that four female staff members claimed Conyers made repeated sexual advances toward female staff and requested sexual favors.
The report added that the Michigan lawmaker settled a wrongful termination complaint with a female staffer in 2015 after she claimed she was fired for not giving into his “sexual advances.”
Conyers’ office reportedly paid the staffer a $27,000 settlement using taxpayer money that had not been publicly documented because the office reported it as part of its budget.
After the BuzzFeed report about Conyers’ settlement came out, Congress quickly began working on legislation to stop lawmakers from using taxpayer funds to settle sexual harassment claims.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announced Wednesday that he will introduce a bill to bar members of Congress from using taxpayer funds to settle sexual harassment complaints and make public records of settlements.