WASHINGTON – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called on Thursday on fellow Democratic Congressman John Conyers, who has been accused of sexual abuse, to resign from his Michigan legislative seat.
At a Capitol press conference, Pelosi said that the accusations of harassment against Conyers that came to light earlier this month are “serious, disappointing and very credible.”
“It’s very sad and the brave women who came forward are owed justice. I will pray for Congressman Conyers and his family, and wish them well. However Congressman Conyers should resign,” she said.
The 88-year-old Conyers, who has been in Congress longer than any other member of the House, is currently hospitalized in Detroit for “stress” linked to the accusations against him, Conyers family spokesman Sam Riddle told local WDIV-TV.
Last week, Conyers announced that he would step down from his post as ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee while a congressional ethics panel investigates the sexual abuse accusations against him.
Conyers has denied the accusations, although his office admitted that in 2015 he paid a settlement of $27,000 to a former staffer who said she had been harassed by him.
After the information about that agreement became public, a second woman complained that the congressman also harassed her when she was working for him as an aide.
The accusations against Conyers come amid the ongoing debate in the US about sexual abuse, a widening multi-faceted scandal that has already tainted both Democratic and Republican lawmakers, as well as powerful and well-known figures in the sectors of journalism and the film industry.