Rep. John Conyers has been hospitalized for treatment of stress-related symptoms after multiple former female staffers accused him of sexual misconduct. The 88-year-old Michigan Democrat is stable according to a family spokesperson.
“He’s doing OK, as well as he can be expected, for a gentleman approaching 90 years of age,” spokesman Sam Riddle told reporters gathered outside his Detroit home Thursday morning.
The news comes a day after Rep. James E. Clyburn, the assistant leader of the House Democrats, claimed Conyers’ accusers were lying because they are all white.
Clyburn, a South Carolina Democrat, made the claims in a closed door meeting, according to Robert Draper, a reporter for New York Times Magazine and National Geographic.
Draper tweeted that Clyburn compared Conyers’ accusers to Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman who murdered her 2 young sons and blamed a black man.
“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,” Draper tweeted on Wednesday.
But the Congressional Black Caucus quickly denied the comparison to Susan Smith.
Mr. 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,” the CBC said on its Twitter account.
Mr. Clyburn also disputed the remarks attributed to him by Draper. “That discussion had nothing to with Conyers,” he tweeted.
But Draper stood by his report, citing two people who attended the meeting and heard Clyburn’s remarks.
“That discussion was specifically & exclusively about Conyers, according to 2 attendees. Who else could you have been referring to when bringing up Susan Smith?” Draper tweeted to Clyburn.
“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,” Draper tweeted.
Meanwhile, a third former staffer, Deanna Maher, said Tuesday that in 1997 Conyers stripped to his underwear in front of her in his office.
But Bob Weiner, a former Conyers aide, said the lawmaker stripping in front of his staff was no big deal.
“He changes clothes in his office,” Weiner told reporters on Tuesday. “Most of us have walked in on him accidentally without knocking and have seen him in his underwear. Big deal.”
Conyers, who is the longest-serving member of Congress, stepped down as the top-ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee on Sunday. He said he won’t seek reelection.
And the Trump Curse continues…
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