Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) compared Congressman John Conyers’ (D-MI) accusers to child murderer Susan Smith, who falsely claimed a black man abducted her kids.
Clyburn argued that these accusations of sexual misconduct may not be credible because all of the accusations come from white women.
Robert Draper, a writer for the New York Times, suggested on Wednesday that the allegations of sexual assault towards Rep. Conyers are not legitimate and they mirror those of Susan Smith’s, who first falsely claimed that a black man abducted her kids.
Draper tweeted, “Also at this morning’s House Democratic caucus: James Clyburn compared Conyers’ accusers to the child murderer Susan Smith, who initially claimed a black man had abducted her kids. Clyburn said, these are all white women who’ve made these charges against Conyers.”
Two separate women accused Rep. Conyers of making unwanted sexual advances towards them.
Conyers admitted last week to reaching a $27,000 settlement with a former congressional staffer in 2015. However, the congressman denied allegations of sexual harassment.
Rep. Clyburn’s office reportedly denied the allegations that Clyburn used the Susan Smith metaphor, while Draper suggests that multiple sources have told him that the South Carolina congressman used the reference on several occasions.
Congressman Cedric Richmond, a member of the Black Caucus, said, “This is not accurate. @Clyburn used the Smith example to illustrate the dangers of convicting people before getting all the facts. Although Smith killed her kids, she blamed an innocent person & a lot of people believed that innocent person was guilty.”
Richmond added, “If the police hadn’t investigated, the wrong person would have gone to jail. This mischaracterization of what @clyburn said is nothing more than members changing the story because they want his leadership position.”
Draper explained, “Correct. But with specific contextual reference to Conyers. Are you suggesting this was some detached academic discussion in which Conyers wasn’t brought up? Not credible & also not what the two attendees say.”