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Rep. John Conyers Announces Retirement Amid Misconduct Accusations

06 December 2017

"I am retiring today", Conyers, 88, told a Detroit radio station, as he became the first to step down among four serving U.S. lawmakers facing sexual misconduct allegations.

Conyers' attorney, Arnold Reed, confirmed that the lawmaker meant retiring effective immediately.

This morning Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), the longest-serving member of the House, told The Mildred Gaddis Show that he's "retiring today".

Conyers, who was first elected in 1964 and went on to become a founding member in 1971 of the Congressional Black Caucus, easily won re-election past year to his 27th term in the heavily Democratic district.

"John Conyers is a great friend, he's a great American, and I'm sure after consultation with his family he made the right decision", said Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., another former black caucus chair. "It will be Congressman John Conyers who decides what it is he is going to do".

The move comes amid numerous calls, including from Democratic leadership, for Conyers to step down in light of allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment against him. Court documents also revealed that another staffer in 2007 filed - and later dropped - a lawsuit against Conyers, claiming that the lawmaker sexually harassed her in 2015 and 2016, while she was working for him. "And I want everyone to know how much I appreciate the support that...incredible, undiminished support I've received across the years of my supporters, not only in my district but across the country as well", Conyers said.

Conyers flew home to his district last week and checked into the hospital for what a family consultant said was stress.

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His investigation has resulted in charges against four people tied to the campaign, including former Trump adviser Michael Flynn. Trump, who was named Person of the Year in 2016 , was nominated again after a tumultuous first year in office.

Speaker Paul Ryan and Representative Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader, have each said Conyers should resign after a woman who settled a sexual harassment claim against him said on television that the congressman had "violated" her body, repeatedly propositioned her for sex and asked her to touch his genitals.

Melanie Sloan, a former Conyers aide and Washington lawyer, told The Washington Post last week that Conyers harassed and verbally abused her when she worked for his Washington office in the 1990s.

He is endorsing his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress. Other local media also reported the plans, citing sources close to Conyers.

The revelations against Conyers came amid a flurry of allegations of sexual misconduct against several of his colleagues in both the House and Senate, including Reps.

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.

Word of Conyers' resignation was met with sadness among House Democrats, even though many had called on him to step down. Mr. Trump now has 15 women who have accused him of sexual harassment.

Rep. John Conyers Announces Retirement Amid Misconduct Accusations