WASHINGTON ? House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Sunday stopped short of affirming whether Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), accused of sexual harassment by multiple women, should resign from Congress.
Calling Conyers “an icon in our country,” Pelosi said that he is “entitled to due process,” repeatedly saying that Conyers “will do the right thing,” pending a House ethics investigation. [restrict]
“The fact is, as John reviews his case, which he knows, which I don’t, I believe he will do the right thing,” she said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
When asked if that meant resigning, Pelosi would not say.
While she added that “women are entitled to due process as well,” Pelosi would not say whether she believes the allegations of the women.
“I do not know who they are. Do you? They have not really come forward,” Pelosi said.
Conyers reportedly settled one of the cases in 2015, part of a byzantine process for dealing with sexual misconduct cases in Congress, which lawmakers have said lacks transparency and favors the perpetrator over the victim.
Pelosi on Sunday said she supports reforming policies that address sexual misconduct involving Capitol Hill lawmakers and staffers. She also endorsed the end of nondisclosure agreements, which would permit accusers to speak publicly about their cases, unless he or she “wants to be private.”
A group of female staffers who used to work for Conyers released a joint statement on Sunday in support of their former boss.
“While we do not pass judgment on the specific allegations reported in the press or the women who brought them, our experiences with Mr. Conyers were quite different than the image of him being portrayed in the media,” they wrote. “Mr. Conyers was a gentleman and never behaved in a sexually inappropriate manner in our presence. He was respectful, valued our opinions, challenged our thinking, and treated us as professionals.” [/restrict]