Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi: “Congressman Conyers should resign” following “serious, disappointing, and very credible” allegations. pic.twitter.com/TN822SIXYH
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) November 30, 2017
Days after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-MD) defended Rep. John Conyers as “an icon” who has “done a great deal to protect women,” she’s calling for him to resign amid mounting sexual harassment accusations. Conyers — who was accused by a second women after conceding that he’d paid one settlement without admitting guilt to that allegation — has already stepped down as the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. Now, Pelosi has fully decided that Conyers should leave the House due to what she calls “serious, disappointing, and very credible” allegations.
Pelosi added that these accusations were “very sad.” However, she was careful to emphasize that “zero tolerance means consequences — for everyone no matter how great the legacy it’s not licensed to harass or discriminate.” Pelosi’s conclusion arrives after Conyers’ first accuser, Marion Brown, detailed her account before the House Ethics Committtee. Here’s part of what Brown said:
“Some of the things that he did, it was sexual harassment. Violating my body, propositioning me, inviting me to hotels with the guise of discussing business, and then propositioning for sex. He just violated my body. He has touched me in different ways, and it was very uncomfortable and very unprofessional.”
Following Pelosi’s statement, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), who said that he had just been “briefed on the torrent of allegations,” also called upon Conyers to resign “immediately.”
This development follows a Thursday morning news report (from Detroit ABC affilate WXYZ) via a Conyers family spokesperson, Sam Riddle, who said that the congressman has been hospitalized for a “stress-related illness.” Riddle added that Conyers is “resting comfortably” and that he’s “doing OK — as well as can be expected for a gentleman that’s approaching 90 years of age.”
Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV further reports that Conyers has decided not to seek 2018 reelection but has resolved not to resign. This detail, however, arrived before Pelosi and Ryan’s news conferences.
UPDATE – 1:30 pm EST: Conyers’ lawyer has blasted Pelosi while saying that it’s not up to her to decide whether or not his client (who is focusing on a hospital recovery) resigns: “Nancy Pelosi did not elect the congressman and she sure as hell won’t be the one to tell the congressman to leave.”