House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi defended Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) against accusations of sexual harassment during an interview on "Meet the Press." Pelosi pointed to Conyers' record on working to protect women as a reason that the congressman should deserve "due process."
“John Conyers is an icon in our country. He has done a great deal to protect women - Violence Against Women Act, which the left - right-wing - is now quoting me as praising him for his work on that, and he did great work on that,” Pelosi said.
Conyers' office confirmed issuing a settlement of $27,000 to a former staffer who said that she repeatedly resisted the congressman's sexual advances and was subsequently fired. Conyers said that the payment was a severance package, but denied that it had anything to do with claims of sexual harassment.
When asked about whether or not she believed Conyers' accusers, Pelosi said, “I do not know who they are. Do you? They have not really come forward.”
Conyers occupies an influential role on Capitol Hill in the form of a ranking position on the House Juidiciary Committee. Pelosi would not reveal whether or not she would attempt to strip him of his position.
“I’m not sharing that with you right now,” she said during the interview.