Representative John Conyers, a Democrat from Michigan, announced on Tuesday that he will be retiring “today” amid multiple allegations of sexual harassment and a report that he paid more than $27,000 to keep an accuser quiet, according to BuzzFeed News.
BuzzFeed News notes that it’s unclear whether Conyers intends to actually step down effective Tuesday or if his announcement means that he plans to retire at the end of his term. Conyers, the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, made the announcement Tuesday morning on the Detroit talk radio program, Mildred Gaddis Show.
Conyers’s resignation follows a recent BuzzFeed News investigation that Conyers settled a sexual-harassment complaint with an unnamed woman for more than $27,000. The woman, Marion Brown, later revealed her identity in a Today show appearance, during which she described repeated harassment while working for Conyers. Several other women have also come forward to accuse him of harassment, and a number of high-ranking Democrats, including Representative Jim Clyburn, Representative Steny Hoywer, and Representative Nancy Pelosi, have called for his resignation as a result.
On the Mildred Gaddis Show, Conyers said his legacy would “absolutely not” be tarnished by the allegations. “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 also endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to replace him in Congress during the interview.