Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving active member of the House and a founder of the Congressional Black Caucus, retired from Congress Tuesday after facing a number of allegations of sexual misconduct.
The 88-year-old Michigan Democrat called in to a local Detroit radio station from an area hospital to make his announcement.
“I am retiring today, I want everyone to know how much I appreciate the support,” Conyers told Mildred Gaddis, a morning host on Detroit FM-radio station Praise 102.7.
His attorney, Arnold Reed, confirmed Conyers’ retirement was “effective today.”
Conyers added that he wanted his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress.
“I have a great family here and especially in my oldest boy, John Conyers III, who incidentally I endorse to replace me in my seat in Congress,” he said.
Conyers’ announcement came after multiple former aides accused him of sexual harassment, triggering a House Ethics Committee investigation. Conyers returned home to Detroit last week, and was hospitalized for a stress-related ailment.
Conyers has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.
“Whatever they are, they are not accurate or they’re not true and I think that they, they’re something that,” he said Tuesday. “I can’t explain where they came from.”
Conyers’ endorsement of his son — who runs a hedge fund in Detroit — sets up an familial power struggle. Ian Conyers, a Michigan state senator and the grandson of Conyers’ brother, told The New York Times ahead of the congressman’s announcement that he would run for his great-uncle’s seat.
Reed said in a tweet earlier Tuesday morning that he was "not responding to rumor and innuendo regarding Ian Conyers."