Speaking to a Michigan radio station, the 88-year-old Conyers was defiant in both maintaining his innocence and defending a legacy he insisted "can't be compromised or diminished."
"This too shall pass," Conyers, speaking from a hospital, told host Mildred Gaddis. "And I want you to know that my legacy will continue through my children."
Aiming to help that process along, Conyers endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to replace him, setting up a potential family showdown for the seat, as the lawmaker's great-nephew, Ian Conyers, told The New York Times recently that he also plans to enter the race.
Conyers's remarks — at times rambling and ambiguous — led to some initial confusion about his immediate intentions. Prodded by Gaddis, he finally revealed that he's "retiring today." Moments later and miles away, Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeLobbying worldDems aim to elect Conyers replacement on Judiciary this monthConyers resigns amid sexual misconduct allegationsMORE (D-Texas) went to the House floor to read a "retirement" letter from Conyers, in which he lamented "not being afforded the right of due process" while citing his declining health — but not the harassment charges — as the reason he's bowing out.