John Conyers retiring from Congress amid sex harassment claims

06 December, 2017, 01:19 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Rep. John Conyers testifies at a hearing in 2009

Embattled Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, has announced Tuesday that he is retiring and has endorsed his son, John Conyers III to run for his seat.

A Conyers lawyer, Arnold Reed, said the departure was effective immediately. "This too shall pass", he said, calling in from a local hospital. "And I want to be able to talk about it and fix the system without having people say 'Blake, you benefited from the system". Such behavior "was a regular part of life while working in the office of Rep. Conyers", she said.

It's more than an unfortunate ending to an illustrious career, it's a sad day in MI and USA history. Conyers, facing sexual misconduct allegations, has refused to step down even after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urged the veteran Democrat from Detroit to do so. He added that he hopes his retirement will be viewed in the "larger perspective" of his more than 50 years as a lawmaker.

She also said that she saw Conyers touching and stroking the legs and buttocks of Brown and other female staffers on "multiple occasions".

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. Until Tuesday, he was the longest-serving current member of Congress.

"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.

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. Pelosi and Ryan had called for Conyers to resign. He also was accused of harassment by ethics lawyer Melanie Sloan and sexual harassment by former staff member Deanna Maher.




On Monday, yet another allegation was lodged against Conyers, when a woman who said she worked for the congressman for more than a decade said he slid his hand up her skirt and rubbed her thighs while she was sitting next to him in the front row of a church. The report didn't specify how Ian Conyers knew of the congressman's plans. "However, those things need to have their day in court". "It will be Congressman John Conyers who decides what it is he is going to do".

While Fudge and Clyburn forcefully suggested that Conyers was a victim of a double standard, Butterfield and other black caucus members demurred or disagreed.

John Conyers returned to Detroit from Washington last week and was hospitalized on Wednesday after complaining that he felt light-headed.

As the furor grew, he stepped down as the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, and the Ethics Committee began investigating him.

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. Al Franken, D-Minnesota. Bloom previously represented Hollywood executive Weinstein, who is accused of sexual misconduct by a number of women.

"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.

The rally at the Hartford Memorial Baptist Church on James Couzens in Detroit comes as some members of the media and Congress have called for Conyers to resign. He will now be leaving the seat he's held since 1965.

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