Mary posted earlier on Representative John Conyers (D-MI) stepping down from his position as ranking member on the House Judiciary committee.  His language is hazy, and it sounds like he’s not leaving the committee and intends to resume his position as ranking member when the “investigation” concludes.

Clearly, the move is intended to serve as his “punishment” for allegations of sexual harassment that include his attending a meeting with a female committee employee in his underwear and numerous allegations of demanding sexual favors and punishing women by firing them when they rejected his unwanted sexual advances.  He’s also alleged to have used, in 2015, taxpayer dollars to settle sexual harassment claims.

Prior to his announcement that he was temporarily stepping down from his position as ranking member, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) defended him quite vehemently on Meet the Press.  She spoke almost reverently about his being an “icon to the American people” and in a cringe-worthy statement sung Conyers’ praises for working so hard to “protect women.”

CNN reports:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Sunday refused to criticize Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat who has been accused of sexual harassment against former Capitol Hill staff.

“We are strengthened by due process,” Pelosi said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“John Conyers is an icon in our country. He’s done a great deal to protect women,” she added, citing the congressman’s support for the Violence Against Women Act.

“He will do the right thing in terms of what he knows about his situation, that he’s entitled to due process, but women are entitled to due process as well,” she said, adding, “We are talking about what we have heard. I have asked the Ethics Committee to look into that. He has said he is open, he will cooperate(.)”

An attorney for Conyers told CNN on Wednesday that the congressman will not resign amid the investigation.

In jaw-dropping Orwellian form, Pelosi goes on to imply that Conyers’ accusers may not be believable, unless they are, and that his status as an “icon” somehow excuses him of his alleged behavior.

While that of U. S. Senate candidate Roy Moore (R-AL) cannot be excused, ever. . . . perhaps if the GOP doesn’t let him be ranking member on any Senate committee, she’ll see that as acceptable?  Yeah, right.

From the NBC transcript:

CHUCK TODD: So define zero tolerance. You said there’s now a zero tolerance.

REP. NANCY PELOSI: Yes.

CHUCK TODD: John Conyers. What does that mean for him? Right now. In or out?

REP. NANCY PELOSI: We are strengthened by due process. Just because someone is accused — and was it one accusation? Is it two? I think there has to be — 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. But the fact is, as John reviews his case, which he knows, which I don’t, I believe he will do the right thing.

. . . . CHUCK TODD: And is the right thing what? Resign?

REP. NANCY PELOSI: He will do the right thing in terms of what he knows about his situation. That he’s entitled to due process. But women are entitled to due process as well.

CHUCK TODD: But he took advantage of a situation where he had a – the rules of Congress and I know you guys want to change these rules, but he got to hide his settlement, he got to – his accusers had to go through all sorts of craziness, so why is he entitled to new due process in this case?

REP. NANCY PELOSI: No, I I – we are talking about what we have heard. I’ve asked the Ethics Committee to review that. He has said he’d be open – he will cooperate with any review.

CHUCK TODD: Do you believe the accusers?

REP. NANCY PELOSI: Excuse me?

CHUCK TODD: Do you believe John Conyers’ accusers?

REP. NANCY PELOSI: I don’t know who they are. Do you? They have not really come forward. And that gets to —

CHUCK TODD: So you don’t know if you believe the accusations?

REP. NANCY PELOSI: Well, that’s for the Ethics Committee to review. But I believe he understands what is at stake here and he will do the right thing. But all of these non-disclosure agreements have to go. By the way, some of them are there to protect the victim because they didn’t want some of it to be public. But that’s over. In other words, if the victim wants to be private, she can be — he or she can be.

CHUCK TODD: I guess it goes back to what is this line? What is a fireable offense? You say it’s zero tolerance.

REP. NANCY PELOSI: Yes.

CHUCK TODD: But zero tolerance — what does that mean if you’re saying John Conyers, who already had due process, gets to stay right now.

REP. NANCY PELOSI: As I said, we’ve asked for the Ethics Committee to review that. He, I believe, will do the right thing. It’s about going forward.

CHUCK TODD: Where are you on Senator Franken?

REP. NANCY PELOSI: Well, same thing. I don’t think that you can equate Senator Franken with Roy Moore. It’s two different things. So, you know, let’s have some discernment.

Two different things? How? We have a photo of Franken and not one of Moore? Moore isn’t an “icon of the American people”? Moore’s accusers are describing things that happened forty years ago while Franken’s were immediately before and then after he became a U. S. Senator and Conyers was greeting women in his office while wearing only his underwear two years ago?

Pelosi goes on to explain that the accusations against Democrats are in the “past” (that distant past of 2015, apparently).

CHUCK TODD: So you would accept an apology right now from Al Franken if there’s no other accusers, or if all we know are what we know?

REP. NANCY PELOSI: Well, also, his accusers have to accept an apology. The victims have some say in all of this, as well. And that has happened in the past. People have accepted an apology, as is coming forth now that I see in the press. But we didn’t know, because there was a nondisclosure agreement to protect the victim. Sometimes they didn’t want to be public. Sometimes they did. So now they will have their choice.

But this is about going forward. And when we go forward, we will address all of that. But we also have to address it for every person, every workplace in the country, not just in the Congress of the United States. And that’s very important. And a good deal of that would be done by the Judiciary Committee.

Just a reminder, Conyers at the time Pelosi was taping this interview was still ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee.

She then dodders off into bizarro world:

CHUCK TODD: You have one member has already, Gregory Meeks has already called for him to be withdrawn as ranking member.

REP. NANCY PELOSI: No.

CHUCK TODD: Isn’t that something in your power? Can’t you decide that he should be suspended on ranking member on Judiciary, of all committees for him to be ranking on?

REP. NANCY PELOSI: You have to remember that this all happened during the Thanksgiving break. When we come together at the beginning of this week, I think John will do the right thing.

CHUCK TODD: You’re not going to unilaterally make this decision?

REP. NANCY PELOSI: I’m not sharing that with you right now. But what I am saying is this is a big distraction, and it’s very, very important. Do you know that the beginning of the Women’s Movement, Elizabeth Cady Stanton lived in Seneca Falls. And she would hear down below examples of family domestic violence. And that was one of the motivators for her to advance the cause of women.

CHUCK TODD: Right.

REP. NANCY PELOSI: So this is as old as– well, it’s old as civilization, probably.

I can’t begin to unravel this nonsense, but apparently, Conyers (whom Pelosi refers to as “John” in the above excerpt) is somehow just like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and that something, presumably not Conyers, is “as old as civilization.”

The takeaway? Pelosi is not only the hypocrite we’ve always known her to be but she’s also willing to equate women’s suffrage with a man who is alleged to have committed a multitude of unforgivable acts against women, wielding his political power as a weapon against women both sexually and professionally.  Ah, yes, just what Stanton fought for . . . or maybe Pelosi picked up these otherwise unknown nuances of early feminist thought while communing with early feminist spirits at the White House?

Watch the full interview in all its cringe-worthy glory:

After Conyers temporarily stepped down as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, Pelosi crowed about “consequences” and “zero tolerance.”

Pelosi said in a statement later Sunday, “Zero tolerance means consequences. I have asked for an ethics investigation, and as that investigation continues, Congressman Conyers has agreed to step aside as Ranking Member.”

Temporarily stepping down as ranking member is not a “consequence,” and Pelosi knows it.  This is an attempt to save Conyers.  It may well work, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.