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Rep. Conyers announces he's retiring today, endorses son to fill seat

Dec 5, 2017

Currently facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment, veteran Congressman John Conyers, D-Mich., announced he is retiring today.

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 Snyder 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 "forced out of office."

At least five women have accused Conyers of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching.

Elisa Grubbs, a former staffer for Conyers from 2001 to 2013, alleged in an affidavit dated Dec. 3 released by her lawyer Monday that Conyers “inappropriately touched” her in church and personally witnessed Conyers sexually harassing other female staffers. Grubbs also accuses Conyers of “regularly” undressing in front of his staff.

The first allegation came to light after BuzzFeed News reported on Nov. 20 that Conyers’ office paid a female aide over $27,000 to quietly settle a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015. The woman later identified herself as Marion Brown on NBC’s “Today Show”.

Conyers acknowledged that his office settled a harassment complaint involving a former staffer, but denies the allegations against him.

A former scheduler alleged she suffered unwanted touching “repeated and daily” in 2015 and 2016, according to Buzzfeed, which first obtained the court documents. Buzzfeed did not include her name in their initial Nov. 21 report on the suit but reported that she voluntarily abandoned the case after the court denied her request to keep the case under seal.

Last week, another former staffer, Deanna Maher, accused John Conyers of making unwanted sexual advances toward her in the 1990s. Maher alleged that he touched her inappropriately on at least three occasions, including once in 1999 when he allegedly placed his hands underneath her dress.

Separately, Melanie Sloan, a lawyer who worked with Conyers on the Judiciary Committee, accused him of being “increasingly abusive” to her, behavior she said wasn’t “sexual harassment” but “sexual discrimination.”

Currently facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment, veteran Congressman John Conyers, D-Mich., announced he is retiring today. 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...
ABC News
replies 27Dec 5, 2017 10:17 AM +00:00

I just don't get it. He is being forced to resign, yet the GOP is about to elect an abuser from Alabama, and elected one for president. I keep falling in to a deep depression about Trump and the state of the country, and I am having such a hard time climbing out of it. Every day is another travesty.

replies 1Dec 5, 2017 10:22 AM +00:00

Conyers is a very handsome man. Even the many years have not changed that.

He is classic.

--he may be shady, but he is quite loverley
replies 2Dec 5, 2017 10:28 AM +00:00

When did the US become a hereditary aristocracy?

replies 3Dec 5, 2017 10:32 AM +00:00

I didn't realize Conyers was a King. The King is dead. Long live the King!

Who the hell is his son?

replies 4Dec 5, 2017 10:53 AM +00:00

Conyers Retires, Family Feud Ensues

No sooner had he announced plans to vacate his seat, however, than an intra-family feud erupted into public view over who would take it over.

The embattled Michigan Democrat said on Tuesday that he wanted his son, John Conyers III, to replace him when he departs. But earlier in the morning, Conyers' nephew, Ian Conyers, said that he would be seeking the seat.

The gerrymandered democratic guaranteed-win seat is family property.

replies 5Dec 5, 2017 12:09 PM +00:00
I just don't get it. He is being forced to resign

Because there are receipts of payment to silence the victim
replies 6Dec 5, 2017 12:18 PM +00:00

John Conyers is one of the centers of gravity and morality in this country. He is more than an icon, he is what makes us proud to be Americans. I hope his grandson will follow on these footsteps and beyond. I hope one day there will be a Conyers monument in DC.

replies 7Dec 5, 2017 12:49 PM +00:00

R1 writes,

I just don't get it. He is being forced to resign, yet the GOP is about to elect an abuser from Alabama. . .

You are correct. You don’t get it. The Republican Party would not be the one electing Roy Moore to be the next U.S. senator from Alabama. It would be voters, from the state of Alabama, who would be electing Roy Moore to be the next junior U.S. senator from Alabama.

replies 8Dec 5, 2017 12:53 PM +00:00
John Conyers is one of the centers of gravity and morality in this country. He is more than an icon, he is what makes us proud to be Americans.

Oh to be sure.
replies 9Dec 5, 2017 12:56 PM +00:00
John Conyers is one of the centers of gravity and morality in this country

Good one!

replies 10Dec 5, 2017 2:29 PM +00:00

Sad all the way around.

replies 11Dec 5, 2017 2:48 PM +00:00

I know the family. For years. Women always chased after Conyers and he was single for such a long time there were rumors he was Gay.. Seriously. But those women who get off on being "Church ladies" chasing after the pastor, that type would chase after Conyers. One woman used to claim she was his fiancee. For like 20 years. I saw a lot of crazy women around him.

He, OTOH, was very courtly in the way he carried himself. he was never inappropriate with women. Ever. He was never boisterous or loud, he was always reserved and dignified, yet very personable. Charming. I liked him. He was passionate about government and the Law. He was definitely a true moral compass when it came to Civil Rights.

I wouldn't put too much credence in him saying he wanted his son to succeed him. He probably said it more to appease his lunatic-assed wife, convicted felon Monica, and his son, than in a serious way. John and his wife had a very rocky marriage and she was addicted to drugs. He sent her out of state to clean up at in patient clinics, and he had to keep his two sons with him. No one will say this, but he raised those boys along with help from his Congressional staffers because his wife was completely unfit.

As for his nephew, Ian, he is the grandson of John's brother Nathan, a lawyer and a businessman who is a highly regarded, outstanding member of the community. Nathan's family are really great people. very good people Five kids and they are really wonderful people.

I think leaving Congress in this way could really kill John. He was always so completely proud of his office. Seriously. He never took it for granted. We lived in his district in an area near The Golf Course an affluent area, and it was a mixed neighborhood, filled with a lot of politicians and local officials, professionals, and Liberal Jews (my family) and affluent Black professionals. I knew his attorney brother Nathan's kids best, but in our close knit neighborhood with social gatherings, etc. you heard and saw a lot.

replies 12Dec 5, 2017 2:52 PM +00:00

Thanks for the skinny, R12. Unless someone is forcing itself on another then I don't give a good god damn about their sex life. Passionate doers are often sexually hungry as well.

replies 13Dec 5, 2017 2:58 PM +00:00

Also-ran culture

replies 14Dec 5, 2017 3:00 PM +00:00

Just wanted to add that John was always impeccable in his dress and women used to act nuts around him. I remember attending his birthday party in May. It was always a sort of political fundraiser, but the family would all go his brother, his parents when they were alive, and his nieces and nephews, and his supporters, and staff, former staff, etc. and I went a couple of times and the women who sort of fluttered around Conyers were an ongoing joke. They threw themselves at him and I am not joking. They'd get a little crazy. He seemed to sort of watch them acting out with one another with a bemused smile on his face, shaking his head. He never had to go after it. It rained women around him.It was exacerbated by the fact that he was single for a long time. Personally I hope his great nephew Ian wins the seat. He is already a member of the state legislature and he is a good guy. His son is, more than likely, an asshole.

replies 15Dec 5, 2017 3:13 PM +00:00

For Pete's sake he's almost 90. Are you just supposed to drop dead at work now?

replies 16Dec 5, 2017 5:48 PM +00:00

R16, that's often the way it is with these long-term members of Congress.

Some of them serve into their 80's and 90's and die in office.

Look at John McCain. Or Dianne Feinstein. Or Chuck Grassley. They're all in their 80's.

replies 17Dec 5, 2017 5:54 PM +00:00

There should be a mandatory retirement age for the Senate and House both.

replies 18Dec 5, 2017 5:56 PM +00:00

Who will be the new hotness?

Son John III on the left or nephew Ian on the right?
replies 19Dec 5, 2017 5:59 PM +00:00

Bullshit - this happened in Chicago a few years ago - a prominent black politician wanted to hand down the seat to his son.

This is not how things work - it's an outrage and scandalous to even propose this.

--The American People
replies 20Dec 5, 2017 6:06 PM +00:00

There, there, darling R20. Settle down. Lemme get you a cold pop.

replies 21Dec 5, 2017 6:08 PM +00:00

Son John III is a certain winner. He's exactly the sort of Congressman they will want.

John Conyers III., the son and appointed successor of John Conyers’ Jr., the disgraced Democratic politician who announced his resignation on Tuesday, is a former attempted rapper who bragged that his friends are drug dealers and his dad “is a f***ing player.”

The son’s brief rap career included lyrical gems such as “My n***as turn grams into grands” and “Ay f**k making a living bro, I’m trying to make history/So picture me letting the news nit-pick at me.”

The aspiring artist also rapped about some of the challenges he’s had to live through, such as when his mother, former Detroit councilwoman Monica Conyers, was sentenced to three years in jail for taking bribes, or when Conyers Jr. had to repay the U.S. Treasury for Conyers III’s misuse of a taxpayer-funded Cadillac Escalade.

Most of Conyers III’s brief rap career appears to have taken place between 2012 and 2013.

Conyers III raised eyebrows in 2010 when he described his father, who is now accused of being a sexual predator, as a “f***ing player” on Twitter.

“My dad is a f***ing player and reckless as hell! He just got at this doods wife super low-key,” the congressman’s son tweeted.

Here's an interesting tweet from John Conyers III, the son of Rep. John Conyers and former Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers: Dad's a "player."
--Kwame Kilpatrick
replies 22Dec 5, 2017 6:12 PM +00:00

Ian Conyers, who is t he son of Gregory Conyers who is the sone of Congressman Conyer's dead brother, is the heir to the family political career. He is well educated a graduate of Georgetown, and is currently holding a elective office in the Michigan legislature. He is in his late 20's and is much better looking than his photo. If I had a vote it would be for Ian, but I suspect a lot of other people will toss their hat in. John Conyers was old, but he was an historical figure and no one would legitimately challenge him. So now he's out of the picture, you'll see a lot of people who will jump in. It is a known fact in Detroit that the Mayor of Detroit and the Governor of Michigan get along pretty well. So I think the governor will be guided by who the Mayor suggests to replace John. Now it is a solidly Democratic Seat. If the GOP governor wants to be a shit, he will nominate a Republican to serve out the last year of Conyer's term. But if he does the right thing, he might actually do the Dems a solid and appoint a Dem that the Mayor wants. Personally it would be cool for the Governor to appoint Ian Conyers who is in the state legislature and causing him all kinds of problems.

replies 23Dec 6, 2017 6:33 AM +00:00

My brain surgeon was unable to perform my surgery so he let his son do it. It went really collision coverage and deductible apply to private passenger autos you or a resident relative rent for 45 days or less.

replies 24Dec 6, 2017 8:12 AM +00:00

This is the Conyers seat and the family has every right to do what they want with it. It's outrageous that there even has to be an election. Hasn't anyone read King Lear--let she/he who loves me most inherit.

replies 25Dec 6, 2017 8:51 AM +00:00

There are many examples of families or spouses handing over their seats to another family member or spouse.

Why single out the Conyers family?

replies 26Dec 6, 2017 11:53 AM +00:00

No one is handing anything over. Leave an old man his illusions. There will be a special electioon and a lot of very talented people who have been chomping at the bit, will toss their hats in the ring.

As for Congressman John Conyers himself, you'd better believe if he were healthy enough he would be fighting these accusations .

replies 27Dec 6, 2017 12:18 PM +00:00