John Conyers (D-MI) announced his intention to step aside as the ranking committee member on the powerful House Judiciary Committee following a series of sexual harassment allegations leveled against him by several women on Capitol Hill.
Pelosi also demanded that Conyers receive due process, yet a few hours later, Conyers has made a decision to step down as the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee.
She repeatedly said that she wants to see the House Ethics Committee investigation of Conyers play out. "They have not really come forward", she said.
Rep. Conyers is one of the original founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus. "Is it two? I think there has to be - John Conyers is an icon in our country", she said.
Leaders of the Ethics Committee said Tuesday they planned to investigate allegations that Conyers had sexually harassed or discriminated against staff members and used official resources "for impermissible personal purposes".
BuzzFeed also reported that another woman who worked for Conyers said she faced "daily" harassment, in a lawsuit she abandoned when the court denied her request to keep it sealed. The allegations against him included a claim that he fired a woman because she didn't give into his "sexual advances".
"Next, Congress must move swiftly to reform the Office of Compliance and the Congressional Accountability Act to put an end to the days of secret settlements paid for by taxpayer dollars", Ms Pelosi said in her statement. "Any credible accusation must be reviewed by the Ethics Committee expeditiously", Ms Pelosi said. "No matter how great an individual's legacy, it is not a license for harassment".
The California Democrat noted that the House in the coming week will vote on requiring anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training for all members and their staffs. Al Franken of Minnesota and Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore also are the subject of accusations. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the second most senior Democratic member of committee, issued a statement as well.
Conyers said in his statement today, "I would like very much to remain as Ranking Member".
"The whole system needs to have a comprehensive shift", Democratic Congresswoman Jackie Speier told ABC's This Week. Last month, she shared her own story of being sexually assaulted by a high-level aide while she was a staffer. "That is women are saying zero tolerance, no more, and we're going to speak out on it".