The embattled congressman, who is also the longest-serving African American member of the House, broke the news on a local Detroit radio show, announcing his retirement and his endorsement of his son, John Conyers III.
“I am retiring today," he said. "I am in the process of putting together my retirement plans. I will have more on that soon. My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we are going through now."
Conyers' decision comes in the wake of multiple calls for him to step down. Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) urged Conyers to resign after allegations that he sexually harassed a staffer came forward.
"The allegations against Congressman Conyers, as we have learned more since Sunday are serious, disappointing and very credible," Pelosi said. "It's very sad and the brave women who came forward are owed justice. I will pray for Congressman Conyers and his family, and wish them well. However Congressman Conyers should resign."
In his announcement, Conyers insisted that his children will continue his legacy. But the endorsement of the congressman's son leaves many to believe that an internal family battle will ensue.
From the NYT:
The decision sets up a battle within the Conyers family for his Detroit-area House seat. Ian Conyers, a Michigan state senator and the grandson of Mr. Conyers’s brother, said he also plans to run for the seat held by his 88-year-old great-uncle.
“I’m absolutely going to file for his seat. The work of our congressional district, where I come out of, has to continue,” he said. “We have got to have someone who has depth and experience but also historical understanding of what it takes to fight this type of evil in Washington.”
This is a developing story.