Clyburn warned of jumping to conclusions on Conyers
On Wednesday, he called the allegations "very disturbing"
One of Rep. John Conyers’ most senior colleagues initially reacted to the allegations about the Michigan Democrat on Tuesday by saying they might be fabricated.
“You can’t jump to conclusions with these types of things,” Democratic Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina told The New York Times.
He continued, “For all I know, all of this could be made up.”
Clyburn told the Times he was unsure if the allegations against Conyers “have any real substance.”
Conyers has denied any wrongdoing, and the House Ethics Committee opened a probe into his conduct.
On Wednesday, Clyburn tweeted a statement saying there can be no tolerance for sexual harassment and backing the ethics investigation into Conyers’ behavior.
“Sexual harassment is a very serious matter and cannot be tolerated,” Clyburn tweeted. “The allegations against Congressman John Conyers are very disturbing, and I am aware he has emphatically denied them. … The House Ethics Committee should conduct a prompt, deliberate and thorough investigation.”
The comments from Clyburn, a member of House Democratic leadership, on Tuesday came as allegations of sexual harassment came to light against Conyers, the longest-serving active member of Congress.
BuzzFeed first reported that Conyers’ office had paid out a settlement to a woman for sexual harassment along with other allegations against the congressman. The story has grown in the wake of that report, with another allegation emerging from court documents filed in March of this year.
Clyburn’s apparent trepidation about allegations Conyers contrasted with many members of his party, some of whom have voiced support for Conyers’ resignation.
Clyburn’s office did not return multiple CNN requests for comment.
CNN’s Juana Summers contributed to this report.