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Attorney: Conyers to assess future plans based on health

UPDATED: Fri., Dec. 1, 2017

In this  photo from Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., attends a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
In this photo from Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., attends a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)
By Corey Williams Associated Press

DETROIT – An attorney for Michigan Rep. John Conyers said on Friday 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.

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. Conyers has been hospitalized since Wednesday evening. No details about 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 Congressmen John Conyers who decides what it is he is going to do.”

Multiple women have accused Conyers of sexual misconduct including inappropriate touching and harassment. Reed stressed that Conyers continues to deny 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.

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.

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.

Reed questioned why the women continued to work for Conyers if he harassed them and said that a number of other people around the congressmen saw a positive interaction between Conyers and the women.

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.

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