Conyers, has admitted to paying a settlement to a former staffer but denies her sexual harassment allegations.
"I am retiring today", Conyers, 88, told a Detroit radio station, as he became the first to step down among four serving United States lawmakers facing sexual misconduct allegations. In his interview, he also endorsed his son to replace him. Conyers eventually acknowledged the settlement, but denied wrongdoing. "This too shall pass", he said, calling in from a local hospital. "I want you to know that my legacy will continue through my children", he said.
Conyers, who was first elected in 1964 and went on to become a founding member in 1971 of the Congressional Black Caucus, easily won re-election past year to his 27th term in the heavily Democratic district. He's been re-elected 25 times since and is the longest-serving current member of Congress, and the fourth-longest serving member of the House in history.
The House Ethics Committee - with authority to recommend any action up to expulsion - had launched an investigation against Conyers, but that was nullified once he left office on Tuesday.
Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY said he was saddened by the resignation of his "friend and mentor" but added: "There can be no tolerance for behavior that subjects women to the kind of conduct that has been alleged".
Ian Conyers, the grandson of the Michigan Democrat's brother, told The New York Times he plans on announcing that he will not return to the House of Representatives after his term ends in 2018, mentioning his health as the reason for retiring.
"I was startled and sprang to my feet and exclaimed, 'He just ran his hand up my thigh!' Other staffers witnessed the event", Elisa Grubbs said in an affidavit.
On Sunday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reversed course Thursday and said embattled Rep. John Conyers should resign from Congress.
Grubbs also said she repeatedly saw Conyers touching and stroking the legs and buttocks of Brown and other female staffers. Four other women have signed affidavits saying Conyers sexually harassed them when they worked for him as well. "My client Marion Brown asks only for an acknowledgment and apology".
A week after the report, second ex-staffer of the congressman also accused him of sexual harassment and several Congressional Black Caucus members urged him to resign.
"It was sexual harassment, violating my body, propositioning me, inviting me to hotels with the guise of discussing business and then propositioning me for sex", Brown told NBC. Pelosi and Ryan had called for Conyers to resign.
"John Conyers has spent over 50 years protecting the rights of everyone in this country, " the Wayne County Executive said.