DOUBLE STANDARD

Nancy Pelosi Calls John Conyers an ‘Icon,’ Wants ‘Due Process’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Sunday praised Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) as an “icon” who has fought for women’s rights throughout his career, as the longtime congressman faces allegations of sexual misconduct. “We are strengthened by due process,” Pelosi said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “Just because someone is accused—and is it one accusation, is it two? John Conyers is an icon in our country. He’s done a great deal to protect women.” The House Democratic leader said she is confident that Conyers will “do the right thing.” Pelosi has endorsed an Ethics Committee investigation, but would not say whether she believes Conyers should resign. Conyers on Sunday said he was vacating his perch as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. In a statement later Sunday, Pelosi clarified her remark: “No matter how great an individual’s legacy, it is not a license for harassment.” At least one House Democrat, Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), has called on him to step down. Another Democratic lawmaker, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), is facing similar allegations from at least four women who say the senator groped them. Franken has given no indication that he is planning to resign, and has said he would cooperate with an Ethics Committee investigation.