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27 November 2017, 12:56 | Todd Saunders
Nancy Pelosi Says John Conyers Entitled to 'Due Process' in Sexual Misconduct Allegations
In response to the allegations and the scrutiny he faces, Conyers announced Sunday morning that he's stepping down as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. That staffer said she was sacked for rejecting his sexual advances, according to the report.
"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 as Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee during the investigation of these matters", Conyers said.
"That's for the [House] Ethics Committee to review".
"I deny these allegations, many of which were raised by documents reportedly paid for by a partisan alt-right blogger", the Michigan Democrat said.
She repeatedly said that she wants to see the House Ethics Committee investigation of Conyers play out.
Conyers, a longtime Michigan Democrat, is now embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal, amid reports that he secretly reached a settlement with a former female staffer. Melanie Sloan, an attorney and former aide to Conyers, said she was verbally abused by the Democratic congressman, and although she maintains she was not sexually harassed, calling herself "no shrinking violet", she also claims he once summoned her for a meeting while in his underwear.
The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into Conyers' conduct following the reports. Two others, Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y., who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, as well as Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., co-chairman of the largest group of congressional liberals, had said Conyers should at least step aside from his leadership role on the Judiciary committee.
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In a departure from her previous comments, she issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying "zero tolerance means consequences". "Any credible accusation must be reviewed by the Ethics Committee expeditiously".
But separately, she tweeted, in reference to Conyers, that "no matter how great an individual's legacy, it is not a license for harassment".
He has rejected calls for his resignation and so has the House's top Democrat - for now.
When asked if she believed Conyers would resign, Pelosi hinted at his eventual decision.
The Senate has already approved a measure requiring all senators, staff and interns to be trained on preventing sexual harassment.
"I believe he understands what is at stake here and he will do the right thing", she said.
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