Democratic Representative John Conyers of MI, the longest-serving House member, announced on Tuesday that he's retiring from Congress immediately amid allegations that he sexually harassed members of his staff.
State Sen. Ian Conyers (D-Detroit), a great-nephew of the retiring Conyers, also has said he will seek to fill the seat.
Conyers on Tuesday endorsed his son, John Conyers III, for the seat.
In the days following the allegations, Conyers, who is the longest serving current House member, had fiercely denied the allegations against him and vowed to fight to clear his name. "He is going to retire, ' Conyers" great-nephew Ian, a MI state senator, told the New York Times, adding that he planned to run for the seat in Congress himself, suggesting Conyers would step down at the end of his term and won't seek reelection.
"I was taught by a great woman, my mother, to honor women", Conyers wrote, according to the congresswoman.
One of them, Marion Brown, last week broke a non-disclosure agreement that she signed after receiving a settlement when she left her job in Conyers's office, saying she "felt compelled" to speak out.
But after being publicly accused by one woman after another in recent weeks, he faced growing calls to resign from colleagues in the House, including Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
I pray for congressman Conyers and his family and wish them well however Congressman Conyers should resign' said Pelosi
The House Ethics Committee is reviewing allegations of harassment against John Conyers.
More than 200 people showed up for a rally Monday morning in northwest Detroit to support embattled Congressman John Conyers, insisting he deserves due process regarding allegations of sexual harassment.
At least two other women who worked for him have accused him of sexual misconduct. 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. "I hope my retirement will be viewed in the larger perspective of my record of service as I enter a new chapter", the statement from Conyers read. Pelosi and Ryan had called for Conyers to resign.
The elder Conyers, however, continued to deny the allegations leveled against him.
"This goes with the issue of politics".
Conyers is one of four sitting USA lawmakers hit by allegations of sexual misconduct in the wake of the accusations targeting movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, which triggered a torrent of accusations against powerful figures in the worlds of entertainment, media and politics. "They are not true and I think they are something that I can't explain where they came from".
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