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Conyers announces retirement amid sexual harassment allegations, endorses his son to replace him

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) announced his retirement from Congress Tuesday amid sexual harassment allegations. Conyers said the allegations against him are "not accurate" and "not true," and he will elaborate on his "retirement plans" soon. (2016 file photo/Sarah Rice/Getty Images)

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) announced his retirement Tuesday in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against him during an interview on Detroit radio program, “The Mildred Gaddis Show.”

The lawmaker said he endorses his son John Conyers III to replace him in Congress.

Conyers, who said he has been hospitalized, said the allegations will “absolutely not” impact his “legacy.”

“My legacy can't be compromised or diminished in any way by what we're going through now. This too shall pass,” he said.

Conyers said the allegations against him are "not accurate" and "not true."

He said he will elaborate on his "retirement plans" soon.

What happened?

Conyers' political future was called into question after the allegations came to light.

His son may not be the only member of his family seeking the seat: Prior to Conyers' interview, Ian Conyers, 29, the lawmaker’s great-nephew, told the New York Times he intends to run for his great uncle’s seat.

“He is not resigning. He is going to retire,” the younger Conyers said. “His doctor advised him that the rigor of another campaign would be too much for him just in terms of his health.”

What are the allegations against Conyers?

Multiple former staffers for the 88-year-old Conyers, the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, accused him of sexual misconduct in the workplace and creating a hostile work environment.

The Detroit Free Press reported late Monday evening that another former staffer came forward to allege the congressman once slid his hand up her skirt in church.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called for Conyers’ resignation last week after she came under fire for defending the lawmaker an “icon” in the wake of the allegations.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has also called for Conyers’ resignation.

In addition to Conyers, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) faces allegations of sexual misconduct. Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore was also accused by multiple women of pursuing sexual encounters with them when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s. One of the accusers was just 14 when the alleged incident took place.

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