Update, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 11:35 a.m.: Rep. John Conyers told a Detroit radio show Tuesday morning that he planned on “retiring” the same day, rather than retiring in 2018 as his great-nephew said earlier in the morning. Conyers is the first congressman to step down after being accused of sexual misconduct. He continues to deny the sexual harassment claims.
“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now,” he said in speaking to the radio station. “This too shall pass.”
He also endorsed his son to replace him in Congress, even though his great-nephew already announced he would be running for the seat.
Original post: Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving current member of the House of Representatives and the Michigan congressman who has been accused of sexually harassing multiple former staffers, will not be seeking re-election in 2018, a relative told the New York Times.
Ian Conyers, a Michigan state senator and the grandson of Rep. Conyers’ brother, said the elder Conyers will be retiring because of his health, on the recommendation of his doctor. He emphasized the retirement was not a resignation.
Rep. Conyers plans to announce his retirement on a local radio program 10 a.m. Tuesday, Ian Conyers said. The 29-year-old Conyers said he plans to run for his great-uncle’s seat and believes the support for his family is still strong in Michigan.
The allegations against Rep. Conyers surfaced in a Nov. 20 BuzzFeed story, which reported the then–top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee settled sexual harassment complaints with a former staffer who complained he had fired her when she refused his advances. Other female aides have complained he had touched them inappropriately and requested sexual favors from them.
After the story came out, many called for Conyers to resign, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Conyers, who acknowledged the settlement but denied the allegations of sexual harassment, resigned from his position on the Judiciary Committee but disappointed many when he remained in Congress.