Pelosi on Conyers: An individual's legacy is not a license for harassment

Pelosi on Conyers: An individual's legacy is not a license for harassment
© Camille Fine

House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiMark Penn: Dems could win House, but Pelosi not guaranteed speakership On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump floats tariffs on European cars | Nikki Haley slams UN report on US poverty | Will tax law help GOP? It's a mystery The American economy is stronger than ever six months after tax cuts MORE (D-Calif.) on Sunday responded to Rep. John ConyersJohn James ConyersPortland activist stages ‘reparations happy hour’ Conyers III won't appear on primary ballot in race to replace his father Conyers's son in danger of missing ballot in Michigan MORE Jr.'s (D-Mich.) announcement that he will step aside as the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee pending an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations, saying an individual's legacy "is not a license for harassment." 

“Zero tolerance means consequences. I have asked for an ethics investigation, and as that investigation continues, Congressman Conyers has agreed to step aside as Ranking Member,” Pelosi said in a statement.

“As a woman and mother of four daughters, I particularly take any accusation of sexual harassment very seriously. Any credible accusation must be reviewed by the Ethics Committee expeditiously,” she continued. “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. I commend the brave women coming forward.”

Conyers announced earlier Sunday he is stepping aside as the committee's ranking member after allegations of sexual harassment. He denied allegations of sexual misconduct, including claims from former staffers that he made unwanted sexual advances.

Conyers admitted last week that he settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former staffer who alleged she was fired because she would not "succumb to [his] sexual advances."

During an appearance just hours earlier on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Pelosi said Conyers is an “icon” who deserves due process.

Asked if she believed Conyers’s accusers, Pelosi responded, “I don’t know who they are," adding that they hadn't come forward.