In an awkward interview, Nancy Pelosi defends Democratic congressman accused of harassment

Aaron Brown
November 27, 2017

Conyers' office recently confirmed issuing a more than $27,000 settlement to a former staffer who alleges she was sacked for resisting Conyers' sexual advances.

Conyers, 88, is now subject to a House Ethics Committee investigation after the Detroit Democrat was accused of sexually harassing former staffers, including spending more than $27,000 from his taxpayer-funded office budget to pay off a woman who said she was sacked for resisting his sexual advances.

The House Ethics Committee is investigating allegations involving Conyers after BuzzFeed reported that Conyers office paid $27,000 to a former female staffer who alleged that she was sacked after rebuffing his sexual advances.

"After careful consideration and in light of the attention drawn by recent allegations made against me, I have notified the Democratic Leader of my request to step aside", said Conyers in a written statement on Sunday.

Conyers' departure from the position opens a powerful committee post and adds to turmoil roiling Capitol Hill amid a series of sexual harassment allegations against members and aides.

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Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, said on Sunday that Conyers deserved "due process" as the Ethics Committee inquiry moves ahead, calling him "an icon" who had done much to advance women's causes. The ex-staffer said she was sacked because she had rejected his sexual advances. "There is still much work to be done on core concerns like securing civil rights, enacting meaningful criminal justice reform, and protecting access to the ballot box", said Conyers. ".She was called to Conyers' office in the Rayburn House Office building for a meeting and, when she got there, he was in his underwear".

"Any credible accusation must be reviewed by the Ethics Committee expeditiously".

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. "We are at a watershed moment on this issue".

"Was it two?" Pelosi asked.

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

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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