Conyers 'Retiring Today,' Endorses Son to Replace Him


Democratic Representative John Conyers of MI, the longest-serving House member, announced on Tuesday that he's retiring from Congress immediately amid allegations that he sexually harassed members of his staff.

Conyers, 88, confirmed the news on the Mildred Gaddis radio show, calling in from a hospital in Detroit recovering for a stress-related illness.

He also endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in his congressional seat.

Conyers, the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, faced calls from Capitol Hill for him to step aside in the wake of multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

Conyers admitted to making the settlement, but denied firing a female staffer for refusing his sexual advances.

Elisa Grubbs made the allegation in an affidavit released late Monday by her attorney, Lisa Bloom.

As the furor grew in recent weeks, he stepped down as the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, and the Ethics Committee began looking into the allegations.

"My legacy can't be compromised or diminished in any way by what we're going through now". He returned home from Washington, D.C. Tuesday night.

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"It was sexual harassment, violating my body, propositioning me, inviting me to hotels with the guise of discussing business and then propositioning me for sex", Brown told NBC.

Conyers called the events leading to his early retirement "a game of politics", but said he and his family are taking what has happened in stride and they are dealing with it and will keep moving forward.

One of them, Marion Brown, last week broke a non-disclosure agreement that she signed after receiving a settlement, reported to be $27,000, when she left her job in Conyers's office, saying she "felt compelled" to speak out. Bloom previously represented Hollywood executive Weinstein, who is accused of sexual misconduct by a number of women.

Rep. John Conyers' attorney is expected to make an announcement later this morning.

"I think there should be a complete disclosure and revealing to all the citizens in the country what federal legislatures are doing or not doing - and any cost that may have incurred as a result of that", Conyers said.

They said the congressman is entitled to due process. She said he asked her to read his statement announcing his decision and that he's notified House Speaker Paul Ryan, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder of his plans to step down.

The elder Conyers, however, continued to deny the allegations leveled against him.

Conyers first was elected to the U.S. House in 1964. Al Franken (D-MN). Last week, Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) was also publicly named as the first sitting member of Congress known to have used a little-known Congressional account to settle an $84,000 sexual harassment claim brought by his former communications director in 2015.