Rep. John Conyers steps down amid sexual harassment investigation

John Conyers is stepping aside

John Conyers is stepping aside

The questions from Todd to Pelosi come amid allegations of sexual misconduct claims against Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, which many in Congress have said should disqualify him from Congress before the December 12 special election against Democrat Doug Jones.

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who several ex-staffers have accused of sexual harassment and misconduct, on Sunday said he will "step aside" as the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee while the chamber's ethics panel investigates the allegations. BuzzFeed also published affidavits from former staff members who said they had witnessed Conyers touching female staffers inappropriately - rubbing their legs and backs - or requesting sexual favors.

"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".

"We are strengthened by due process", Pelosi told host Chuck Todd on "Meet The Press". The House Committee on Ethics has launched an investigation into the matter.

Pelosi was among the Democrats to call for that investigation and Conyers said he would fully cooperate.

Conyers has admitted to making the payment to avoid public litigation, but has denied any sexual harassment claims.

"I have come to believe that my presence as Ranking Member on the Committee would not serve these efforts while the Ethics Committee investigation is pending", he said. She said Conyers is an "icon in this country" who through his work in Congress "has done a great deal to protect women".

Conyers said the allegations were "raised by documents reportedly paid for by a partisan alt-right blogger" and looks "forward to vindicating myself and my family before the House Committee on Ethics". "But women are entitled to due process as well".

"I don't know who they are", Pelosi said.

For the record, Pelosi's remark about Conyers' accusers not having come forward is not true.

Asked if she would be satisfied were Franken to apologize, rather than resign, Pelosi told NBC, "Right".

"I believe he understands what is at stake here and he will do the right thing", she said.

"We have made progress, but unfortunately 26 years ago, Washington wasn't ready to lead on this issue, and I'm afraid even today Washington can not lead the country on this issue", she said.

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