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Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), facing multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, announced Tuesday his abrupt decision to retire immediately and endorse his son, John Conyers III, to take his place in Congress.
Rather than resigning, Conyers announced his sudden retirement during a live interview with Detroit-based radio host Mildred Gaddis, USA Today reported.
“I am retiring today. 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, according to The Washington Examiner.
Rep. John Conyers says sexual harassment allegations against him will “absolutely not” tarnish his legacy: “My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now. This too shall pass.” https://t.co/cmhphfG69Q pic.twitter.com/fiWFyFxWr8
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) December 5, 2017
The longest-serving House member went on to tell Gaddis, who conducted a very friendly interview, his “legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now.”
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He also continued to deny the accusations against him, describing them as “not accurate, they’re not true, and they’re something I can’t explain where they came from.”
Conyers, who was briefly hospitalized in late November for what the family described as a “stress-related illness,” said he and his family are “doing well.”
“We take what happens, we deal with it, we pass on and move on forward as we keep going, trying to make as much as we can of this tremendous opportunity that's been given me for so long, and I'm very, very pleased to let you know that my family is doing very well,” he told Gaddis. “My wife and my two boys are doing great,” CNN reported.
Several lawmakers have called for his resignation, though House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was initially unwilling to do so. In fact, before she changed her mind and called for his ouster, Pelosi described Conyers as “an icon in our country” who has “done a great deal to protect women.”