Currently facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment, veteran Congressman John Conyers, D-Mich., announced he is retiring today.
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Conyers, 88, confirmed the news on the Mildred Gaddis radio show, calling in from a hospital in Detroit recovering for a stress-related illness.
“I am retiring today, and I want everyone to know how much I appreciate the support, the incredible, undiminished support I’ve received across the years,” Conyers said.
Conyers’ attorney, Arnold Reed, confirmed to ABC News that the lawmaker meant retiring effective immediately.
Conyers said his legacy will not be affected. He has denied any sexual misconduct.
“My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now,” he said. “This, too, shall pass. I want you to know that my legacy will continue through my children.”
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D- Texas, read a statement from Conyers on the House floor after his radio interview that he’d notified House Speaker Paul Ryan, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Michigan Gov. Rick Synder of his retirement.
“Given the totality of the circumstance, of not being afforded the right of due process in conjunction with current health conditions, and to preserve my legacy and good name, I’m retiring. I hope my retirement will be viewed in the larger perspective of my record of service as I enter a new chapter,” Lee said the statement read.
The veteran lawmaker said that he is also endorsing his son, John Conyers III, to fill his seat.
Conyers, the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives and a civil rights icon, is the first high-profile national political figure to fall in this wave of public sexual harassment allegations to sweep the country. The congressman was the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee before he stepped down last week.
Conyers, who has been in the House since 1965, is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
A dozen House Democrats have called on the representative to step down as Congress looks into sexual misconduct allegations levied against him. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said he should resign, calling the allegations against him “serious, disappointing and very credible.”
Last week, his attorney, Arnold Reed, said the congressman refused to be…