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House Dem: Conyers should be held to the same standard as Weinstein, Halperin

Greg Nash

Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.) on Friday repeated calls for Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) to resign, saying that politicians should be held to the same standards as others who have been accused of sexual misconduct.

“What I am voicing publicly is what every single private citizen is saying across America,” Rice said on CNN. “Why are the rules for politicians in Washington different than they are for everyone else?”

She compared the multiple sexual harassment allegations against Conyers to the fallout after prominent men in Hollywood and the media were accused of sexual misconduct. Notable men such as Harvey Weinstein, Louis CK and Mark Halperin have all been booted from their companies and networks.

Rice advocated Conyers resigning rather than undergoing an ethics investigation as other other lawmakers have recommended, which she said will “take forever to come up with a conclusion.”

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Conyers reportedly settled a claim with a former staffer who alleged she was fired for not engaging in sexual conduct with him, and other former staffers have come forward with accusations that he sexually harassed them.

Rice is the first lawmaker to demand Conyers’ resignation, though several others have called for him to step down from his top post on the House Judiciary Committee.

Rice said that people are “sick and tired” of politicians being held to a different standard than civilians, and that the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” does not apply in these cases.

“We’re not talking about a court of law here,” she said. “This is not ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ we don’t have any legal standard here, we are talking about the court of public opinion, we’re talking about holding men accountable for our actions.”

“The victims in these cases are never going to have their day in court,” she added.

Tags John Conyers Kathleen Rice Sexual harassment

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