U.S. Rep. John Conyers of Detroit on Sunday morning stepped down as the ranking Democrat of the powerful House Judiciary Committee.
Here is his full statement:
“After careful consideration and in light of the attention drawn by recent allegations made against me, I have notified the Democratic Leader of my request to step aside as Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee during the investigation of these matters.
“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.
“To be clear, I would like very much to remain as Ranking Member. There is still much work to be done on core concerns like securing civil rights, enacting meaningful criminal justice reform, and protecting access to the ballot box. These challenges could not be more pressing in the face of an Administration that cares little for the rule of law and a President whose actions and conduct cheapens our discourse every day.
“But I have come to believe that my presence as Ranking Member on the Committee would not serve these efforts while the Ethics Committee investigation is pending. I cannot in good conscience allow these charges to undermine my colleagues in the Democratic Caucus, and my friends on both sides of the aisle in the Judiciary Committee and the House of Representatives.
“I am proud and fortunate to be part of a legacy of more than 50 years of fighting for civil rights and making our country more equitable and just. I will never allow that legacy – a legacy I owe to my father John Conyers, Sr., who integrated labor unions, or my two amazing sons John III and Carl and my loving wife Monica, and the extraordinary people of Detroit – to be cast aside, or these causes to be in any way diminished.
“I am grateful to my colleagues who have called for due process before weighing judgment. I would urge them to continue to do so for any Member accused of wrongdoing. Basic fairness requires no less.”
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