A group of Democrats including members of the Congressional Black Caucus is privately urging Rep. John Conyers to resign after a third former staffer went public with allegations of sexual harassment against the longtime Michigan Democrat, according to congressional sources.
Members of the CBC are pressing Conyers to step down after 53 years in office, telling him that fellow Democrats are expected to come out and publicly demand he resign. Reps. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) have already done so, and additional Democratic lawmakers were expected to join them as the House returned from the week long Thanksgiving break on Tuesday night.
Conyers was meeting with CBC members late Tuesday afternoon to discuss his future, according to several lawmakers who attended. The CBC was expected to issue a statement on the matter Tuesday night.
"I'm going to let him make his decision," said Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), the CBC chairman. "We had a lengthy discussion."
When asked whether he pushed Conyers to resign, RIchmond said, "I did not ask him to resign." Richmond.
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) said, "Only he can determine his future."
Conyers did not attend the House votes on Tuesday night, although he was in Washington. Reporters later tweeted a phote of Conyers taking a flight back to Detroit.
There is a divide within the CBC over Conyers, a longtime friend and ally to many of the lawmakers. Some want Conyers to resign immediately, believing that the harassment allegations are credible and the Michigan Democrat can no longer represent his constituents.
Others are upset the Conyers' allegations were first passed to BuzzFeed by a conservative activist who has been involved in ugly conspiracy theories. And still other CBC members feel the Ethics Committee should be allowed to undertake its investigation and report to the House what it turns up before any further steps are taken.
Read more: Black Caucus members press Conyers to resign