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John Conyers

Rep. John Conyers announced his retirement amid multiple sexual misconduct allegations


Updated December 05, 2017 10:31 AM EST

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) announced his retirement from Congress on Tuesday amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

The Michigan Democrat, 88, said he is "retiring today" from the House of Representatives.

Conyers told Mildred Gaddis on her Detroit radio show that the accusations he's facing are "not accurate, they're not true and they're something I can't explain where they came from."

"My legacy can’t be compromised or dimished in any way by what we’re going through now," Conyers said. "This too shall pass. … My legacy will continue through my children."

John Conyers added that he would endorse his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress and take the House seat he has held for more than five decades.

The Michigan lawmaker did not describe Tuesday's announcement as a resignation, but he said his decision was immediate, suggesting the difference may be little.

A relative says that Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who is entangled in a sexual misconduct scandal, plans on announcing that he will not seek re-election Tuesday.

Michigan state Sen. Ian Conyers (D-4th District) adds that he plans on pursuing John Conyers’ House seat once the latter retires.

“He is not resigning,” Ian Conyers, 29, on Tuesday told The New York Times in a phone interview. “He is going to retire.”

“His doctor advised him that the rigor of another campaign would be too much for him just in terms of his health.”

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Ian Conyers said that John Conyers, 88, plans on announcing his retirement by calling into “the Mildred Gaddis Show,” a local radio program.

John Conyers is the longest-serving House member, and he first took a seat representing the Detroit area in 1965.

Ian Conyers, the grandson of John Conyers’ brother, said that his relative deserves due process but stopped short of outright defending him from recent sexual misconduct allegations.

“I stand with my uncle in terms of his belief of no specific wrongdoing,” he said. “However, those things need to have their day in court.”

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“I’m absolutely going to file for his seat,” Ian Conyers added. “The work of our congressional district, where I come out of, has to continue.”

“We have got to have someone who has depth and experience but also historical understanding of what it takes to fight this type of evil in Washington.”

John Conyers last month stepped down as the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee after admitted that he settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015.

The House Democrat has since denied the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against him, but more women have made similar claims about him since the settlement was first reported.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have called on Conyers to step aside following the slew of allegations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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