Pressure for Kihuen to resign mounts after Conyers steps down

Updated December 5, 2017 - 6:42 pm

WASHINGTON — Pressure mounted Tuesday on Democrat Rep. Ruben Kihuen of Nevada to step down over allegations of sexual harassment following the resignation of a more senior colleague who succumbed to calls by party leaders to relinquish his seat for similar activity.

The congressional office was in turmoil as some staff members threatened to quit, a Democrat close to the lawmaker said, and the chief of staff sent out a memo obtained by Politico that sought jobs for employees who wanted to leave.

The developments came as Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the longest-serving member of the House, told a Detroit radio station that he would resign on Tuesday. He endorsed his son for the seat.

Conyers faced an Ethics Committee investigation into multiple allegations that he harassed women who worked on his staff.

Kihuen, a freshman, was accused by a finance employee on his congressional campaign in Nevada of making unwanted advances and inappropriately touching her on at least two occasions.

The allegations against Kihuen were first reported by BuzzFeed last Friday.

Reaction to the allegation against Kihuen was swift, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Rep. Ben Lujan, D-N.M., chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Nevada Democrats calling for Kihuen’s immediate resignation.

Kihuen, in a statement Friday, apologized to the former campaign staffer, but said he did not recollect the incidents the way that she had portrayed them.

The lawmaker, who represents North Las Vegas, Mesquite and Pahrump, could not be reached by telephone on Tuesday. He has not returned multiple requests for comment.

Kihuen claims party leaders knew

However, Kihuen told ABC News on Tuesday that he would not resign from his seat. He also said party leaders knew last year about the former campaign staffer’s allegations of misconduct but stood by his campaign nonetheless. Kihuen questioned why they are calling for his resignation now, more than a year later.

“I do find it interesting that the DCCC, Leader [Nancy] Pelosi and Chairman Ben Ray Lujan — they knew about these allegations last year,” Kihuen told ABC. “They looked into them. They didn’t find anything, and they continued investing millions of dollars in my campaign. They went out there and campaigned for me.”

But Pelosi and Lujan both denied knowing about the allegations against Kihuen before BuzzFeed published its report, ABC News reported.

“Sadly, this is not the case. Leader Pelosi first learned of these allegations from BuzzFeed last week,” Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, told ABC.

“Congressman Kihuen’s statement is not true,” Meredith Kelly, DCCC communications director, said.

Over the weekend, after speaking with Pelosi, Kihuen decided not to step down from Congress, according a Democratic operative familiar with the congressman’s decision.

Late Monday, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus called an emergency meeting to discuss Kihuen’s decision. The caucus was divided on whether to support a call for his resignation, according to the Democrat familiar with the ongoing events.

On Tuesday in Las Vegas, Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, said at a news conference that he knew of the Kihuen allegations only through media reports, but said if accusations against elected officials are confirmed “there should be consequences.”

“With regard to the congressman, only he knows. And he’s somebody who’s going to have to answer that question. And if indeed it’s true, then he should step down,” Sandoval said.

Turmoil among congressional staff

Also on Tuesday, Kihuen staff members threatened to quit, the Democratic operative said.

And Kihuen’s chief of staff, Peter Koltac, sent a note to other Democratic congressional offices seeking positions for staff members who wanted to leave, according to Politico. At least one staff member has resigned.

While Conyers was under investigation by the Ethics Committee, it was unknown whether a complaint has been filed with the secretive panel over the allegations against Kihuen.

A spokesman for the committee replied “no comment” when asked if a complaint was filed.

If a complaint is made, historically the chairman and ranking member would have to agree to investigate the allegation. The committee would have 90 days to look into the matter and determine if further action is warranted.

The committee, in the past, has investigated incidents that have occurred during a congressional campaign, or before a lawmaker took office.

The committee announced Nov. 21 that it was reviewing allegations surrounding Conyers.

On Monday, yet another allegation was lodged against the 88-year-old House member, when a woman who said she worked for him for more than a decade, Elisa Grubbs, said he slid his hand up her skirt and rubbed her thighs while she was sitting next to him in church.

Grubbs also said she repeatedly saw Conyers touching and stroking the legs and buttocks of other female staffers. Such behavior “was a regular part of life while working in the office of Rep. Conyers,” she said.

Grubbs is the cousin of another accuser, Marion Brown, who reached a confidential, taxpayer-funded settlement of more than $27,000 over allegations that Conyers sexually harassed her. That settlement came to light in mid-November, setting off the cascade of allegations against the congressman.

At least two other women who worked for him have accused him of sexual misconduct.

A lawyer for Conyers previously denied the allegations and said the congressman would fight to clear his name. That changed Tuesday when Conyers announced his resignation during an interview on a radio show. He defiantly said his legacy would not be diminished by “what we’re going through now.”

Conyers is currently hospitalized in Detroit where he is being treated for stress.

Kihuen and Conyers are just two of member of Congress who have been accused of improprieties in a growing social movement to stop harassment.

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has been accused by several women of inappropriate behavior.

Last week it was disclosed that taxpayers paid for an $84,000 settlement with a former spokeswoman for Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, who accused him of sexual harassment.

Sexual impropriety also underlies a heated Senate campaign in Alabama where Roy Moore, a Republican, has been accused of sexual misconduct against teen-aged girls decades ago.

President Donald Trump, also accused of sexual misbehavior in the past, has endorsed Moore and encouraged him to continue his campaign, despite calls from leading Senate Republicans for Moore to end his candidacy in the special election to be held next week.

Review-Journal staff writer Colton Lochhead and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Gary Martin at gmartin@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7390. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Paul McCartney is worth over $1 billion
Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most celebrated and accomplished musicians in history. He just turned 76 on June 18. McCartney grew to international fame with the Beatles and went on to become a wildly successful solo musician. Paul McCartney’s net worth is estimated at $1.2 billion, according to Celebrity Net Worth. In 2017, McCartney landed the No. 13 spot on Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid musicians, earning $54 million for the year. On Thursday, June 20, McCartney will release a double A-side single featuring two new songs, "I Don't Know" and "Come On to Me." McCartney has yet to announce a title of his new album or when it will be released. Th album is expected to be released before he headlines the Austin City Limits Music fest in October.
Water leak at Mandalay Bay convention center
The convention center area of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas experienced major flooding Tuesday afternoon. Credit: Melinda Cook
Hollywood Memorabilia Up For Grabs at Las Vegas Auction
Elvis Presley's car, Marilyn Monroe's bras, Han Solo's blaster, and Jerry Lewis's "Nutty Professor" suit are just some of the items that are up for auction at Julien's Auctions at Planet Hollywood June 22 and 23. The auction's viewing room at Planet Hollywood is open to the public 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Saturday at Planet Hollywood. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Springs Preserve Exhibit Shows Off "Nature's Ninjas"
"Nature's Ninjas" arrives at the Springs Preserve, in an exhibit and live show featuring critters that come with natural defenses, from armadillos to snakes, poison dart frogs to scorpions and tarantulas (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CrossRoads of Southern Nevada psychiatric urgent care to open in Las Vegas
Jeff Iverson, who operates the nonprofit sober living facility Freedom House, is opening a private addiction treatment center that will operate a detoxification center and transitional living for substance users trying to recover. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Wayne Newton surprises burglars
Wayne Newton and his wife, Kathleen, arrived at their southeast Las Vegas home shortly before midnight on Wednesday to find two burglars inside their house. The burglars fled and were seen heading north through the property. Las Vegas police quickly set up a perimeter and launched an extensive search of the area, but the suspects were able to escape. It was unclear if the burglars got away with anything of value. Several items, under the watchful eyes of the police, were seen on the ground near the home's main driveway. Neither Newton, nor his wife, were injured. The Newtons were not available for comment.
Police Officers Turn Off Body Cameras
In four separate body camera videos from the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting released Wednesday, officers in a strike team are instructed to turn their body cameras off and comply with the request.
Debra Saunders reports from Singapore
Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent talks about the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
How long will North Korea's denuclearization take?
In Singapore, Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent Debra Saunders asks President Donald Trump how long North Korea's denuclearization will take. White House video.
LVCVA purchase of gift cards hidden
A former LVCVA executive hid the purchase of $90,000 in Southwest Airlines gift cards in records at the agency. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, said the money was for promotional events and did not disclose that it was for gift cards. Lawson also instructed Southwest employees to submit invoices without mentioning the purchases were for the cards. More than $50,000 of the cards cannot be accounted for. The convention authority is publicly funded . Lawson recently resigned.
Kim Jong Un visits Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his entourage visited the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore briefly Monday night, local time. (Video by Philip Chope)
Coca-Cola Bottle Purse Has 9,888 Diamonds
Designer Kathrine Baumann and jeweler Aaron Shum set the Guinness World Record for most diamonds (9,888) set on a handbag. The Coca Cola bottle-shaped purse was on display at the Coca Cola Store on the Strip. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sentosa Island a pleasure resort with a pirate past
The site of Tuesday's U.S.-North Korea summit is known for theme parks and resorts. But before that, it was known as a pirate island. (Debra Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Judge Sandra Pomrenze's comment about girl's hair
Nevada Races Full of Women From Both Sides
It's already been a historic election season for women in politics. Record numbers of women are running for political office all over the country - including Nevada. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
East Las Vegas home damaged by fire
Clark County Fire Department crews responded to a house fire in east Las Vegas Thursday morning. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
911 call: Mom tries to get to son shot at Route 91
A woman stuck on the interstate during the Route 91 Harvest festival shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas, tries to get to her son. 911 call released by Las Vegas police.
Las Vegas 911 caller reports people shot on Oct. 1
A 911 caller on Oct. 1, 2017, reports several people shot at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
911 call from woman under stage in Las Vegas shooting
A 911 call from a woman underneath the stage at the Route 91 Harvest festival during the Oct. 1, 2017, Las Vegas shooting.
LVCVA facing scandal over gift cards
LVCVA is facing a growing scandal over airline gift cards. LVCVA bought $90,000 in Southwest Airline gift cards between 2012 and 2017. Now auditors can’t account for more than $50,000 of the cards. CEO Rossi Ralenkotter and his family used $16,207 in gift cards on 56 trips. Brig Lawson, the senior director of business partnerships, was responsible for buying and distributing the cards. He recently resigned.
Siblings separated in the foster care system get a day together
St. Jude's Ranch for Children and Cowabunga Bay Cares program partnered to bring 75 siblings together for the day to play on the water slides and in the pools at the Henderson water park. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
People flee the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Las Vegas police released footage from a camera on Mandalay Bay of the Route 91 Harvest festival on Oct. 1, 2017
Aaliyah Inghram awarded medal of courage
Aaliyah Inghram, a 10-year-old girl who was shot while protecting her 18-month-old brother and 4-year-old cousin during a shooting on May 8, awarded medal of courage. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Las Vegans Pack Public Lands Open House
A crowd filled the Clark County Library conference room Tuesday afternoon where Clark County officials hold their first -- and possibly only -- public meeting on plans to open almost 39,000 acres of federal land for development just outside the Las Vegas metropolitan area. County commissioners are set to vote June 19 on a potentially controversial resolution seeking federal legislation that would set aside tens of thousands of acres for conservation while giving Nevada’s largest community more room to grow. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police search Henderson Constable's home and office
Las Vegas police served search warrants Tuesday at Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell's home and office. The investigation was sparked by a Las Vegas Review-Journal story showing Mitchell wrote himself $70,000 in checks, used ATMs at casinos and video poker bars, and traveled to places his adult children live. All using county funds. Police refused to comment but Mitchell's attorney said he did nothing wrong.
Vegas Golden Knights fans shows his colors for community
Vegas Golden Knights superfan Lynn Groesbeck has wrapped his new truck with Knights logos and images. He loves how the Golden Knights are bringing community back to Las Vegas. People stop him on the street to take photos and share his support. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Acting Coach Daryl Morris on His Craft
Acting coach Daryl Morris, whose father Bobby was Elvis Presley's conductor in Las Vegas, discusses his craft and how he leads his own classes. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Politics
Nevada Primaries: Congressional Races
Review-Journal Political reporter Ramona Giwargis goes over the election night primary results for the congressional races.
The Right Take: Rosen lied about getting a degree in computers
Two weeks ago Sen. Dean Heller’s campaign released video evidence that Rep. Jacky Rosen lied about her resume. The media couldn’t care less.
Nevada Politics Today: Zac Moyle
Nevada Politics Today video host Victor Joecks sits down with political consultant, Zac Moyle to discuss the 2018 primary election results.
Debra Saunders reports from Singapore
Las Vegas Review-Journal White House correspondent talks about the historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.
Nevada Primaries: Governor Races
Review-Journal Political reporter Colton Lochhead goes over the election night primary results for the Governor races.
Election Night: Polls Close At 7 p.m.
Review-Journal political reporter Ramona Giwargis goes over what to expect from the Nevada primaries.
Kim Jong Un visits Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his entourage visited the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore briefly Monday night, local time. (Video by Philip Chope)
The Right Take: Transgender regulations are radical and one-sided
Despite months of parental and student opposition, the regulations are radical and one-sided. Under the proposal, which Trustees will vote on Thursday, students get to pick their own gender identity and which locker rooms to change in.
Nevada Races Full of Women From Both Sides
It's already been a historic election season for women in politics. Record numbers of women are running for political office all over the country - including Nevada. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
The Right Take: Tax Cuts Boosted Rosen's Staffs Pay
In February, the campaign team of Democrat U.S. Senate candidate Jacky Rosen saw a pay bump thanks to the Republican tax plan.
Nevada Politics Today: Dan Rodimer
Nevada Politics Today host Victor Joecks sits down with Republican candidate for Senate District 8, Dan Rodimer.
Nevada Politics Today: Dan Rodimer
Nevada Politics Today host Victor Joecks sits down with Republican candidate for Senate District 8, Dan Rodimer.
The Right Take: To fix CCSD start in Carson City
State government has created the collective bargaining laws that have put the district on the brink of financial insolvency. Here are three ways to fix that.
The Right Take: Kids claim to be concerned about budget cuts
Ryan was one of six students Wednesday supposedly upset about budget cuts. Be real. Adults — be they parents, teachers or union officials — turned these kids into human shields and media props.
Nevada Politics Today: Bryce Henderson
Nevada Politics Today video host Victor Joecks sits down with Democrat candidate for Senate District 10, Bryce Henderson.
The Right Take: Trump calls MS-13 members 'animals'
Last week, President Donald Trump hosted a summit with California law enforcement officers to discuss the dangers the state’s “sanctuary” policies. During Q&A, Fresno County sheriff Margaret Mims worried about the sanctuary law preventing her from telling federal officials that she had a MS-13 gang member in custody.
The Right Take: 3 questions Sisolak, Chris G. won't answer
Consider Democrat gubernatorial frontrunners Steve Sisolak and Chris Giunchigliani. Guns and education have been major campaign themes. Yet neither candidates will provide basic information about their policies, despite my requests.
Nevada Politics Today: CD3 GOP Candidates Debate
Victor Joecks moderates a debate with the three Republican candidates for Nevada's 3rd Congressional District 3. Candidates are Danny Tarkanian, Sen. Scott Hammond and Michelle Mortensen.
Nevada Politics Today: Allison Stephens
Victor Joecks sits down with candidate for CD4, Allison Stephens.
The Right Take: Hogg is wrong about Question 1
Victor Joecks talks about the errors David Hogg made in a recent tweet.
The Right Take: Student accused teacher of kicking, yanking him
Jayden Zelaya-Ramos is a fifth-grade student at George E. Harris Elementary School. That’s where he says Jason Wright, husband of school board president Deanna Wright, kicked and yanked him in early March.
The Right Take: Trustees call for a special session
Victor Joecks talks about a special session about teacher pay raises.
The Right Take: Three things to know about CCSD's next superintendent
Victor Joecks talks about things to know about CCSD's next superintendent.
Nevada Politics Today: Craig Mueller
Las Vegas Review-Journal's Victor Joecks sits down with Republican candidate for Attorney General, Craig Mueller and discusses his position on crime in Nevada.
The Right Take: Rosen attended fundraiser hosted by Jane Fonda
Last Friday, Rosen attended a fundraiser hosted by Jane Fonda and other Hollywood elites. Yes, that’s the same Jane Fonda that Vietnam War veterans call “Hanoi Jane” for smiling while sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun.
The Right Take: Registrar has admitted to 175 mistakes
Victor Joecks talks about the Clark County Registrar’s office struggling to keep its numbers straight.
Nevada Politics Today: Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity
Review-Journal's Victor Joecks sits down with Tim Phillips, President of Americans for Prosperity.
The Right Take: Equal Pay Day sends a false message to women
Equal Pay Day was last week. Democrats spent the day spreading the falsehood that women earn 80 cents for every dollar men earn. That’s a false and destructive message to send to women.
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge
Donald Trump Calls Out James Comey After Book Details Emerge The President took to Twitter to criticize the former FBI director as information emerges from Comey’s new book, ‘A Higher Loyalty’. According to 'The New York Times', Comey describes Trump in the book as “unethical, and untethered to truth and institutional values.” James Comey, A Higher Loyalty, via The New York Times A Higher Loyalty hits stores on April 17.
Las Vegas man stands with president at White House
President Donald Trump delivered remarks in the Rose Garden Thursday about how the GOP tax cut plan helped working families across the country. To his left stood Richard Kerzetski, president of Universal Plumbing & Heating Co. in Las Vegas. Debra J. Saunders/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Right Take: Superintendent has limited authority
It’s starts with money. CCSD has a lot. It has a $2.4 billion general fund. The superintendent controls almost none of it. Personnel expenses make up 87 percent of that. The rest goes to things like utilities, gas for school buses and textbooks.
Nevada Politics Today: Michelle Mortensen
Review-Journal's Victor Joecks sits down with Republican candidate for CD3, Michelle Mortensen to discuss the Nevada congressional race and DACA.
The Right Take: Liberals claim there's a 20% gender pay gap
Tuesday was Equal Pay Day, a chance for liberals to claim that women in America make only 80 cents for every dollar a male makes. They calculate this by comparing the median annual earnings of men and women working full-time in 2016.
The Right Take: Arbitrator sides with teachers union
Victor Joecks talks about how an Arbitrator's decision will impact CCSD going forward.
Nevada Politics Today: Thom Reilly interview
Victor Joecks talks to Thom Reilly about Len Jessup leaving UNLV and other topics about the school.
The Right Take: Sisolak Running Scared
Steve Sisolak couldn’t scare off Chris Giunchigliani, and now she has Sisolak running scared. They’re both seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
State lawmaker shares his views on new prison education program
Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford shared his views Friday about a prison education bill he spearheaded in the 2017 legislative session. Ford, community members and higher education officials toured the High Desert State Prison on Indian Springs on Friday where he program is being implemented. (Natalie Bruzda/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Early voting in the Ward 5 Las Vegas City Council race at Las Vegas City Hall
Early voting in the Ward 5 Las Vegas City Council race at Las Vegas City Hall. There are eleven candidates running in the Ward 5 special election to serve out the remaining 15 months left on former councilman Ricki Barlow's term. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas-Review Journal
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like