The Sift Here’s what we’re Sifting today

Conyers retires amid sexual harassment accusations

by Evan Wilt
Posted 12/05/17, 11:11 am

WASHINGTON—Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., the longest-serving member of Congress, announced he’s retiring from office effective immediately amid sexual harassment claims. “I am retiring today,” Conyers told a Detroit-area radio program host Tuesday morning. “I want everyone to know how much I appreciate the support.” Conyers, 88, first won a congressional seat in 1965. He admitted himself to a hospital last week for an undisclosed illness and called the radio station from his hospital bed. Conyers said he would endorse his son, John Conyers III, to take over his seat in Congress. Last month, BuzzFeed News reported Conyers settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 after a woman claimed she lost her job for rejecting his sexual advances. Since then, more women have accused him of sexual misconduct in the workplace. The Detroit Free Press reported Monday evening that Elisa Grubbs said Conyers groped her at a church. Grubbs worked for Conyers from 2001 to 2013. Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., asked Conyers to resign. He already had vacated his post as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. Conyers still denies any wrongdoing. He said Tuesday all the reports about his conduct are inaccurate, and he can’t explain where they came from. He also said he doesn’t expect his abrupt retirement amid sexual harassment claims to tarnish his image: “My legacy can’t be compromised or diminished in any way by what we’re going through now. This too shall pass.”

Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email
Evan Wilt

Evan is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former WORLD reporter.

Read more from this writer