John Conyers retiring from Congress amid sex harassment claims

Faith Castro
December 6, 2017

Conyers' attorney Arnold Reed told the Detroit Free Press Grubbs' allegations are "another instance of tomfoolery from the mouth of Harvey Weinstein's attorney".

"My legacy can't be compromised or diminished in any way by what we're going through now". The interview on the Mildred Gaddis radio show is still ongoing. "I want you to know that my legacy will continue through my children", he said.

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.

Described by supporters as an icon of liberal policymaking, Conyers was revered on Capitol Hill as a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders called for his resignation. He added that he hopes his retirement will be viewed in the "larger perspective" of his more than 50 years as a lawmaker.

A third woman, Deanna Maher, said Conyers made three sexual advances toward her when she worked for him in his district office in Detroit from 1997 to 2005, CNN reported last week. That will take place as soon as the MI governor's office receives his letter of resignation. "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. The 88-year-old Democrat is the longest-serving current House member.

He added that he believed his great-uncle's constituents in MI would continue to support him and the rest of the family "as we continue to fight, as we have for leading up to a century".

Conyers, has admitted to paying a settlement to a former staffer but denies her sexual harassment allegations.

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The sexual harassment allegations against Conyers surfaced November 20 after BuzzFeed News reported he settled a wrongful dismissal complaint with an employee in 2015 for $27,000 in exchange for a confidentiality agreement and that he made advances toward female staffers, including requests for sexual favors, caressing their hands in a "sexually suggestive" way, and rubbing their legs and backs in an inappropriate manner while in the office or in public.

"This is about much more than one congressman", Grubbs' attorney, Lisa Bloom, said in an email after Conyers resigned.

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. "However, those things need to have their day in court".

"We're here for due process", said the Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the NAACP's Detroit Chapter.

Conyers is one of four sitting U.S. 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.

The House Ethics Committee is reviewing allegations of harassment against John Conyers.

And Republican congressman Joe Barton announced last week he would not seek re-election after a nude photograph of him recently circulated online. Al Franken, D-Minnesota. He will now be leaving the seat he's held since 1965.

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