Congressman John Conyers has announced the conclusion to a long political career on bad terms. After serving more than five decades and becoming one of the most prominent elected Democrats and a civil rights icon, he was forced out of his post after multiple allegations of misconduct surfaced.
Conyers’ career began back in the fifties as a congressional aide, before becoming first elected almost a decade later. Known as the “Dean of the House,” he is currently the longest tenured member of Congress and one of the longest serving in history. He is 88 years old.
The revelations were difficult for Democrats to swallow at first, given the prominence of Conyers to the party.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi encountered a backlash not long after the allegations broke for protecting Conyers in a publci interview. She initially refused to say whether Conyers should resign if the claims were proven true and went as far as implying the victims were not credible. This forced her office staff to walk the controversial statements back after her television interview.
Democratic support quickly eroded as more allegations came to light. It was also revealed that in addition to the numerous allegations, he had used a congressional fund reserved for office expenses to silence a former aide he harassed. The amount paid out a total $27,000.
Even as protests mounted in response to the allegations, his wife, Monica Conyers, stood by him and attacked critics as being racist. Monica Conyers also has a history of breaking the law, previously pleading guilty to federal bribery charges while serving on the Detroit City Council. Criminality must run in the family.
He was recently hospitalized because of stress as the pressure continued to mount on Capital Hill and in the media against him. It was from there he succumbed to the mounting public pressure, and announced his retirement from the job he’s held for a half a century. John Conyers has endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to succeed him in Congress.