Supporters rally, demand due-process for US Rep. Conyers

Rep. John Conyers, the longest serving member of Congress and former head of the all-important Judiciary Committee announced this morning that he will leave the office he has saw faithfully and successfully served.

"I am retiring today", Conyers, 88, told a Detroit radio station, as he became the first to step down among four serving U.S. lawmakers facing sexual misconduct allegations.

Conyers' lawyer confirmed that the retirement is effective immediately.

The minority leader had spent a few days prior to November 26 working with Conyers and other Congressional Black Caucus members on how to "lay groundwork for him to step aside gracefully", the aide told NPR's Scott Detrow.

The news comes after Conyers' great-nephew, 29-year old MI state Senator Ian Conyers, told CBS News' Jonathan Blakely he would be running for the elder Conyers' seat.

Grubbs also claimed that Conyers "walked out of his bathroom, knowing she was in the room", when they were at his house. Attorney Lisa Bloom, who is representing Marion Brown, the woman in the BuzzFeed report that blew the lid off this story, released an affidavit from Conyers' former employee Elisa Grubbs, who worked for the lawmaker between 2001 and 2013.

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A number of fellow Democrats have called on Conyers to resign, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and fellow Michigan Rep. Dan Kildee.

If Conyers were to resign, it would help Democrats quiet demands that some action be taken against him. Another former staff member accused Conyers of sexual misconduct and filed a lawsuit, but dropped the suit when the court refused to seal the case. "I think we have to recognize and be able to hold the dueling possibilities that somebody can be a great man and have done great things for our country and for civil rights but also have done awful things that require accountability". A lawyer for Conyers has repeatedly said the congressman denied wrongdoing and had no plans to resign, despite more calls from members of his own party.

Speaking on the Mildred Gaddis radio show, Conyers said he's taking the allegations "in stride". "The game of politics which we're in, we take what happens, we deal with it, we pass on and move on forward as we keep going trying to make as much as we can of this tremendous opportunity that's been given to me for so long", said Conyers on Tuesday.

According to several media outlets, Conyers is expected to announce he's not running for re-election. Joe Barton, R-Texas, Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, and Sen.

Gaddis asked Conyers to clarify what he meant. "They are not true and I think they are something that I can't explain where they came from". The issue had divided members of his party, especially those in the Congressional Black Caucus, and Pelosi, too, had struggled, calling Conyers an "icon" before pressing days later for him to go. He will now be leaving the seat he's held since 1965.

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