Detroit Rep. Brenda Lawrence calls for change amid firestorm of sexual harassment claims
Michigan Rep. John Conyers among politicians accused of sexual misconduct
DETROIT – The calls for change are growing louder on Capitol Hill as the firestorm of politicians and high-profile personalities accused of sexual harassment rages on.
Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence was on the House floor Wednesday to introduce legislation for mandatory sexual harassment training for Congress. It comes just days after her own chief of staff resigned amid sexual harassment allegations.
Lawrence's Metro Detroit congressional neighbor, Rep. John Conyers, is caught in a controversy over his own sexual harassment allegations.
Lawrence was inside Wednesday's Congressional Black Caucus meeting, where members reportedly are torn on what to do about Conyers.
"(It was an) extremely hard meeting," Lawrence said. "The love in that room for John Conyers and zero tolerance for sexual harassment in any form was what we discussed."
Federal government employees must undergo sexual harassment training, but not members of Congress. Lawrence introduced legislation to make training mandatory for Congress and staff members.
Does Lawrence think Conyers should resign?
"He has gone home to his family and has said he was going to sit down and make a decision," Lawrence said.
You can watch Shawn Ley's full story in the video posted above.
Sources say Conyers won't seek re-election
The controversy swirling around Michigan Rep. John Conyers has intensified this week as former staff members accused him of sexual harassment.
Sources told Local 4 that Conyers will not seek re-election for a new term in the wake of the scandal, which continues to grow.
Two sources close to the Conyers situation told Local 4's Rod Meloni that the congressman won't resign. It's his intent to announce in January that he won't run for re-election in 2018.
His attorney said the allegations are not true, but Conyers is under increased scrutiny, and his family is rallying around him.
Conyers caught a bit of a break Wednesday as the Congressional Black Caucus met in Washington and Chairman Cedric Richmond disputed the stories saying he is pushing for Conyers to resign.
Among the former staffers accusing Conyers of sexual harassment is Deanna Maher, who claimed Conyers sexually harassed her three times, including undressing to his underwear in her bedroom while she was in a nightgown.
The Michigan Democratic Party has not yet responded to a request for comment about the sources' information that Conyers won't run again. The situation could change depending on the pressure brought to bear in Washington.
You can watch Rod Meloni's most recent update in the video posted above.
Monica Conyers confronts reporters outside her home
Monica Conyers was not happy Wednesday morning when she confronted reporters outside her Detroit home.
Her husband returned to Detroit on Tuesday night amid more calls for him to resign after multiple sexual harassment allegations. Monica Conyers told reporters to try to reach him at his office instead of at their home.
"Go to his office, that's where he's a public figure. When he's here, we're a family. We're a home," she said.
Conyers said she wonders if reporters would "go and stalk white people's houses."
"Do you just come to the black neighborhoods and stalk our houses?" she said.
Buzzfeed News reported last week that Conyers settled a complaint in 2015 with a woman who alleged she was fired from his staff because she rejected his advances. The website says Conyers' office paid the woman more than $27,000 in a confidential settlement.
Monica Conyers said she wants the person making sexual harassment allegations against her husband to be named publicly.
John Conyers III defends his father
Earlier Wednesday morning, John Conyers III defended his father, calling the accusations and the push for his father to resign unfortunate and "dicsoncerting."
"It's very unfortunate to see him fight so long for so many people and to automatically have the allegations assumed to be true. And of course, with sexual assault, women are to be believed. But in this instance, he has no history of this," said Conyers III. "And I think that if we're not going to make Al Franken resign when we have evidence of him groping a woman while she was asleep ... it's disconcerting to me to see the way my father is being treated after he's given so much to this country, not just for black people but for people alike. He fights for everyone."
Conyers did step down from his position as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee over the weekend.
"I deny these allegations, many of which were raised by documents reportedly paid for by a partisan alt-right blogger. I very much look forward to vindicating myself and my family before the House Committee on Ethics," he tweeted.
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