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Longest-serving USA congressman quits after sex harassment claims

06 December 2017

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), the subject of a number of recent sexual harassment and abuse allegations, announced on a local radio show Tuesday morning that he would be retiring from the House immediately.

Conyers' attorney Arnold Reed tweeted Monday that he and the congressman will appear on the 102.7 FM Mildred Gaddis radio show on Tuesday at 10:15 a.m.to announce the Detroit Democrat's decision on whether he plans to stay in Congress.

A woman who says she worked for U.S. Rep. John Conyers for more than a decade says he slid his hand up her skirt and rubbed her thighs while she was sitting next to him in the front row of a church.

The veteran lawmaker said that he is also endorsing his son, John Conyers III, to fill his seat.

Days later, the congressman stepped down as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee during a congressional ethics probe of the sexual harassment allegations.

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A third woman, Deanna Maher, said Conyers made three sexual advances toward her when she worked for him in his district office in Detroit from 1997 to 2005, CNN reported last week.

Conyers has continued to deny the women's accounts, and his lawyer said Conyers would not pay back the settlement money that was paid to Brown at taxpayer expense. Grubbs is the cousin of another accuser, Marion Brown, who reached a confidential settlement with Conyers over sexual harassment allegations, but broke the confidentiality agreement to speak publicly last week.

John Conyers returned to Detroit from Washington last week and was hospitalized on Wednesday after complaining that he felt light-headed.

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 previous year to his 27th term in the heavily Democratic district.

The allegations spurred a House Ethics Committee investigation into Conyers' conduct.

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Bloom posted Grubbs' affidavit on Twitter and confirmed to The Associated Press that it was genuine.

Wounded by the mounting accusations, and well aware of the potential implications for Democrats' efforts to win congressional seats in next year's mid-term elections, the party's congressional leadership last week called for Conyers to resign. "I was startled and sprang to my feet and exclaimed, 'He just ran his hand up my thigh!' Other staffers witnessed the event".

Grubbs said she saw Conyers stroking the legs and buttocks of other staffers on multiple occasions.

Grubbs also claimed that Conyers "walked out of his bathroom, knowing she was in the room", when they were at his house.

Conyers is one of four sitting United States lawmakers hit by allegations of sexual misconduct in the wake of the claims targeting movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, which triggered a torrent of accusations against powerful figures in the worlds of entertainment, media and politics. She quit Weinstein's team after the allegations became public and now represents sexual harassment victims.

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Longest-serving USA congressman quits after sex harassment claims