“We ask that the nation pray for the congressman’s recovery,” Arnold Reed, Conyers’ lawyer said, declining to share the details of the congressman’s condition but suggesting that it’s stress related.
The announcement of his hospitalization came after the TV appearance of a former staffer who accused Conyers, 88, of “violating my body.” It came to light on Nov. 21 that Conyers settled a sexual harassment claim with a former employee in 2015 for more than $27,000. Former staff members also accused him of making repeated sexual advances on female staff. The high-ranking, longest serving member of Congress allegedly requested sexual favors from the female staffers and allegedly transported other women to the District of Columbia with whom he was suspected of having affairs. The former staff member filed her complaint in 2014 with the congressional Office of Compliance. It accused Conyers of firing her because she declined his sexual advance.
Conyers acknowledged settling the sexual harassment claim but denied the accusations. Nevertheless, Conyers announced on Sunday that he’s stepping down as the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee while he’s under a probe by the House Ethics Committee for sexual harassment. Shortly after news of the settlement emerged, other women came forward with similar allegations, and voices began calling for his resignation. GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan called the report “extremely troubling,” and Michigan’s Republican Rep. Bill Huizenga was among the first to call for Conyers’ resignation. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has called for due process in Conyers’ defense.