WASHINGTON – House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Wednesday brushed off a question as to whether Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) should remain in office following a series of harassment allegations.
“Look, I know what I would do if this happened to me,” Ryan said at a news conference.
“I will leave it up to him to decide what he wants to do.”
But the speaker added: “I think he made the right decision in stepping down from his leadership position.”
Conyers on Sunday announced that he will take a leave of absence from his position as the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee while the Ethics Committee reviews allegations of sexual harassment.
BuzzFeed last week reported that Conyers in 2015 settled a wrongful dismissal complaint brought against him by a former staffer. The staffer said her employment ended after she refused Conyers’ advances.
Conyers on Nov. 21 told the Associated Press that he was not aware of the settlement and denied the allegations. Later that day, Conyers released a statement that acknowledged the settlement but reiterated that the substance of the allegations are false.
Since that time two other women have come forward and accused Conyers of either sexual harassment or misconduct.
The House later today will vote on legislation that would require all members and their staff to annually complete a sexual harassment education course.