Nancy Pelosi Says John Conyers Entitled to 'Due Process' in Sexual Misconduct Allegations
27 November, 2017, 00:59
The first outcome since the discussion of sexual harassment in Congress began has come as Rep. John Conyers has stepped down from his position as the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Conyers, the longest-serving member of the House, had previously saidhe wouldn't resign and maintained he still has desire to serve but wouldn't allow the charges to "undermine" his colleagues in the Democratic Caucus. But he also said he's giving up the seat reluctantly.
BuzzFeed News reported Monday that Conyers' office paid a female aide over $27,000 to settle a wrongful dismissal complaint. The congressman said the payment was comparable to a severance package and denies the allegations against him.
Pelosi continued that she was confident Conyers would "do the right thing" as his case is reviewed, but stopped short of referencing resignation.
Conyers says he will fully cooperate with the Ethics Committee, which said it will review the allegations of harassment and age discrimination as well as using "official resources for impermissible personal purposes". "Is it two?" Pelosi said on "Meet The Press".
In a departure from her previous comments, she issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying "zero tolerance means consequences". We are at a watershed moment on this issue, and no matter how great an individual's legacy, it is not a license for harassment.
The Senate has already approved a measure requiring all senators, staff and interns to be trained on preventing sexual harassment.
Pelosi's defense of Conyers came just minutes after she acknowledged there was a "generational change" in the way sexual harassment allegations are treated, and praised women for increasingly confronting harassers.
"This is about going forward", she said. And that's very important.
Conyers holds a powerful position on Capitol Hill as ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee, and Pelosi on Sunday defended what he has done as a longtime member of Congress.
"To be clear, I would like very much to remain as Ranking Member", he said.
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