— CNN (@CNN) December 5, 2017
Following Tuesday morning news that Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) would not seek reelection in 2018, the longest current serving member in the U.S. House of Representatives has decided to go ahead and retire. He will do so, effective today, amid an ongoing House ethics probe to investigate multiple allegations of sexual harassment against him. Via the above CNN video, Conyers announced his decision on Detroit 102.7’s The Mildred Gaddis Show. The audio within the interview is low quality, but here’s what the lawmaker said:
“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.”
This news arrives weeks after Conyers admitted to settling a sexual harassment case (with a former staffer) while also distancing himself from admitting guilt. Another accusation soon arrived, and on Monday night, a different former staffer accused the congressman of groping her in a church by sticking his hand up her skirt. Ultimately, however, his decision to retire follows a joint call by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Speaker Paul Ryan for Conyers to step down after a briefing on the full details of his accusers’ stories. The 88-year-old lawmaker was also recently hospitalized for a stress-related illness in the wake of these swirling claims.
While revealing his retirement, Conyers threw in an endorsement for his son, John Conyers III, to step into his shoes, but clearly, there’s no grounds for him appointing a replacement. Over on Fox News, Kellyanne Conway reacted live to the news by expressing outrage and pointing out the obvious — that Conyers cannot “nominate” his son as successor.