Legendary congressman John Conyers retires amid pleas for him to stay

Kristopher Drake
December 6, 2017

On Monday, a crowd of 200 in Detroit showed support for the congressman, who was hospitalized last week for stress related health issues.

He said he's endorsing his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress. Conyers faced calls to resign following reports that he reached a $27,000 settlement with a former aide who said she was sacked for rejecting his sexual advances.

Conyers' attorney, Arnold Reed, confirmed to ABC News that the lawmaker meant retiring effective immediately. Conyers, who said only that he was retiring Tuesday, but not resigning, denied any wrongdoing in the interview and endorsed his son to replace him in the House.

Days later, the congressman stepped down as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee during a congressional ethics probe of the sexual harassment allegations.

However, he said today that despite all this, he is confident in his legacy.

Conyers admitted to making the settlement, but denied firing a female staffer for refusing his sexual advances. Grubbs is the cousin of another accuser, Marion Brown, who previously broke a confidentiality agreement to speak publicly.

"I was startled and sprang to my feet and exclaimed, 'He just ran his hand up my thigh!' Other staffers witnessed the event", Elisa Grubbs said in an affidavit.

Conyers, 88, is already facing a House Ethics Committee inquiry.

"My legacy can't be compromised or diminished in any way by what we're going through now".

"It was sexual harassment, violating my body, propositioning me, inviting me to hotels with the guise of discussing business and then propositioning me for sex", Brown told NBC.


Conyers said in a statement read Tuesday on the floor of the House by Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee that he was resigning "to preserve my legacy and good name".

Speaking on the Mildred Gaddis radio show, Conyers said he's taking the allegations "in stride".

The reports cite conversations with Conyers' grandson, Ian Conyers.

Conyers is one of four sitting United States lawmakers hit by allegations of sexual misconduct in the wake of the claims targeting movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, which triggered a torrent of accusations against powerful figures in the worlds of entertainment, media and politics.

"Whatever (the allegations) are, they are not accurate", he said.

"Oh, absolutely not", Conyers said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dug herself into a hole when she defended Conyers on Meet The Press. Such behavior "was a regular part of life while working in the office of Rep. Conyers", she said.

Melanie Sloan, a former Conyers aide and Washington lawyer, told The Washington Post last week that Conyers harassed and verbally abused her when she worked for his Washington office in the 1990s.

Conyers first was elected to the U.S. House in 1964.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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