Rep. Conyers announces he's retiring, endorses son to fill seat

NATION-NOW     John Conyers retirement What happens next to replace him in Congress?     
       John Conyers retirement What happens next to replace him

NATION-NOW John Conyers retirement What happens next to replace him in Congress? John Conyers retirement What happens next to replace him

Conyers' attorney, Arnold Reed, confirmed to ABC News that the lawmaker meant retiring effective immediately. "This too shall pass", said Conyers on a local MI radio station Tuesday morning.

He continued to deny that he has harassed any of his former employees and said he did not know where the allegations came from.

John Conyers has stepped aside as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee.

Conyers was first elected to the House in 1964. 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.

"I am retiring today".

Wounded by the mounting accusations, and well aware of the potential implications for Democrats' efforts to win congressional seats in next year's mid-term elections, the party's congressional leadership last week called for Conyers to resign.

According to a phone interview with The New York Times, the state senator was adamant that the elder Conyers was not resigning, but retiring instead. He is the longest-serving member in the House.

"His doctor advised him that the rigor of another campaign would be too much for him just in terms of his health", Ian Conyers told the Times.

He is endorsing his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress.

The 88-year-old congressman is facing several sexual harassment allegations from former staff members.

"This goes with the issue of politics. He is going to retire", the younger Conyers said.

The sexual harassment allegations against Conyers surfaced November 20 after BuzzFeed News reported he settled a wrongful dismissal complaint with an employee in 2015 for $27,000 in exchange for a confidentiality agreement and that he made advances toward female staffers, including requests for sexual favors, caressing their hands in a "sexually suggestive" way, and rubbing their legs and backs in an inappropriate manner while in the office or in public. "However, those things need to have their day in court".

Speaking from an unnamed hospital where he reportedly was being treated for stress-related complications, the longest-serving member of Congress maintained that the allegations against him "are not true", and that he could not explain their origin.

"Whatever they are they are not accurate, they are not true, and I think that they are something that I can't explain where they came from", said Rep. Conyers.

The House Ethics Committee is investigating allegations of harassment and inappropriate touching by women who once worked for Conyers, including claims by Marion Brown who could testify later this week before the committee.

Republican congressman Joe Barton separately announced last week he would not seek re-election after a nude photograph of him taken while he was separated from his wife circulated online.

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