Nancy Pelosi calls John Conyers an 'icon,' and social media is livid

Faith Castro
November 27, 2017

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dodged repeated questions about harassment allegations against Rep. John Conyers on Sunday.

Conyers has repeatedly denied the allegations made against him, and continued to do so in his statement. "He has done a great deal to protect women", Pelosi told Chuck Todd Sunday on NBC News' Meet the Press.

"I deny these allegations, many of which were raised by documents reportedly paid for by a partisan alt-right blogger". "But I have come to believe that my presence as Ranking Member on the Committee would not serve these efforts while the Ethics Committee investigation is pending".

The House Ethics Committee announced last week that it had launched an investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment and age discrimination against Conyers involving his staff.

In a statement, the 88-year-old lawmaker made clear he would prefer to keep his leadership role on the committee, which has wide jurisdiction over USA law enforcement, from civil rights and impeachment of federal officials to sexual harassment protections.

Conyers said there is "still much work to be done" in "the face of an Administration that cares little for the rule of law and a President whose actions and conduct cheapens our discourse every day" - a jab at the Trump White House.

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He added, "I am grateful to my colleagues who have called for due process before weighing judgment. Any credible accusation must be reviewed by the Ethics Committee expeditiously", Ms Pelosi said. 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 House this week is expected to vote on legislation to mandate sexual harassment training for all lawmakers and staffers, a move backers consider just the first step in reforming the culture on Capitol Hill.

Pelosi insists that Conyers deserves "due process" and will "do the right thing" after Congress returns from Thanksgiving break on Monday.

Conyers is accused of sexually harassing female staff members, and a secret settlement was paid out to one of his accusers.

"The whole system needs to have a comprehensive shift", Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier told ABC's This Week.

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