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Attorney: Conyers to assess future plans based on health

  • Standing outside Michigan Rep. John Conyers' house, attorney Arnold Reed addresses the media, Friday, Dec. 1, 2017, in Detroit. Reed is holding a photo of the congressman and Marion Brown, one of at least three women who have alleged sexual harassment while working for Conyers. Reed said that the congressman will discuss whether to resign following allegations of sexual misconduct in the coming days, but his health will be the paramount factor and not pressure from Washington politicians. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) Carlos Osorio

  • FILE -- In this file photo from Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., attends a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the top Democrat in the House, said today, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017, that Conyers should resign, saying the accusations are "very credible." (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, file) J. Scott Applewhite

  • File - In this April 4, 2011 file photo, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, listens during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi says Conyers, facing sexual misconduct allegations, should resign. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) J. Scott Applewhite



Associated Press
Friday, December 01, 2017

An attorney for Michigan Rep. John Conyers said on Friday that the congressman will discuss in the next few days whether to resign following allegations of sexual misconduct, but his health will be the paramount factor and not pressure from Washington politicians.

Arnold Reed told a news conference Friday that he will be meeting with doctors to assess the medical prognosis for the 88-year-old Conyers following a second round of medical tests.

Facing growing calls for his resignation, Conyers returned to Detroit from Washington on Tuesday and was hospitalized the next day. He remains there although no details of his condition have been released.

“We will discuss in the next day or so what Mr. Conyers plans to do. As you know his health is not the best. It’s not what it should be,” Reed said. “It will be Congressman John Conyers who decides what it is he is going to do.”

Reed told reporters that he had not spoken Conyers in two days, allowing his client to rest.

Multiple women have accused Conyers of sexual misconduct including inappropriate touching and harassment.

Striking a defiant tone, Reed continued to stress that Conyers denies he sexually-harassed anyone.

A number of fellow Democrats have called on Conyers to resign, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and fellow Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee. Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has also urged Conyers to step down.

The House Ethics Committee has been reviewing the allegations against Conyers, who is the longest-serving current member of the House. He has stepped aside from his post as ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The accusations against Conyers are part of a wave of allegations against titans of entertainment, media and sports since the explosive reports of sexual misconduct by Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein.

A Nov. 20 BuzzFeed report said that Conyers’ office paid a woman more than $27,000 under a confidential agreement to settle a complaint in 2015 that she was fired from his Washington staff because she rejected his advances. Marion Brown has since publicly alleged that Conyers propositioned her for sex multiple times over more than a decade.

Brown is preparing to testify sometime next week before the House Ethics Committee, her attorney, Lisa Bloom told the Associated Press on Friday.

“We hope it will take place next week in an open forum,” Bloom said of the hearing.

Another former staff member, Deanna Maher, who ran a Michigan office for Conyers from 1997 to 2005, accused Conyers of sexual misconduct including partially undressing in front of her and feeling her legs in a vehicle.

A former scheduler alleged sexual harassment, retaliation and a hostile work environment in a February 2017 proposed complaint, but took no further action after a judge refused to file it under seal.