Pelosi Won’t Say If Conyers, Accused Of Sexual Harassment, Should Step Down

Bill Clark/CQPHO

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Sunday declined to say whether Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who several ex-staffers have accused of sexual harassment and misconduct, should step down under her “zero tolerance policy.”

“You said there’s now a zero tolerance,” Chuck Todd asked Pelosi on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.” “John Conyers. What does that mean for him right now? In or out?”

“We are strengthened by due process. Just because someone is accused, and was it one accusation? Is it two? I think there has to be—John Conyers is an icon in our country. He has done a great deal to protect women,” Pelosi replied.

BuzzFeed News reported last week that several former staffers of Conyers accused him of inappropriately touching them and asking them for sexual favors. Conyers denied wrongdoing, but admitted he reached a settlement agreement with a former staffer who said she was fired after refusing Conyers’ advances. The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation last week into the accusations against Conyers.

“I believe he will do the right thing,” Pelosi said on Sunday.

“And is the right thing what? Resign?” Todd asked.

“He will do the right thing in terms of what he knows about his situation,” Pelosi said. “He’s entitled to due process. But women are entitled to due process as well.”

She claimed that Conyers’ accusers “have not really come forward” and said she doesn’t “know who they are.”

“So you don’t know if you believe the accusations?” Todd said.

“Well, that’s for the Ethics Committee to review,” Pelosi said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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