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Conyers says he's resigning to preserve legacy

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Posted at 1:27 PM, Dec 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-05 13:27:00-05

DETROIT (AP) - The Latest on sexual misconduct allegations against Rep. John Conyers (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

Rep. John Conyers says he's resigning from Congress "to preserve (his) legacy and good name."

Conyers said in a statement Tuesday that he's not being afforded "due process" to defend himself against sexual harassment allegations made by former staff members. He's also citing his "current health conditions" as a factor in his decision to step down.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat, read the statement from the 88-year-old Conyers on the floor of the House. She served with Conyers on the House Judiciary Committee.

Conyers says he's been a champion for the oppressed and the disenfranchised, and that he "never wavered in (his) commitment to justice and democracy."

Conyers says he hopes his retirement will be viewed in the "larger perspective" of his more than 50 years as a lawmaker.

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12:05 p.m.

A congresswoman says she struggled with her decision to call for Rep. John Conyers to resign because of the important role he played in the civil rights movement.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said Tuesday that she came to Congress after being a civil rights activist and that "none of the work" she did on immigrant rights issues would have been possible without Conyers' leadership.

Jayapal said last week that Conyers should resign following allegations by former staffers accusing him of sexual harassment. He announced his retirement Tuesday. Jayapal says Democrats will "lose our moral authority if we also don't call out those we love who have done things that are bad."

Jayapal says she also thinks Roy Moore, of Alabama, should drop out of the Senate race in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers.

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