On Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) released a statement that suggested the House Ethics Committee should investigate Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) if the allegations against him were “credible.”
“As I have said before, any credible allegation of sexual harassment must be investigated by the Ethics Committee,” Pelosi said in a press release.
A report on Tuesday alleged that Conyers engaged in sexual misconduct with multiple women and even fired one of his staffers when she refused to succumb to his sexual advances.
“As Members of Congress, we each have a responsibility to uphold the integrity of the House of Representatives and to ensure a climate of dignity and respect, with zero tolerance for harassment, discrimination, bullying or abuse," Pelosi also said.
As part of her response, Pelosi backed Rep. Jackie Speier's (D-Calif.) legislation, which would reform the process by which staffers file complaints of sexual misconduct.
One of Conyers accusers complained that she felt compelled to sign a confidentiality agreement. Congress's Office of Compliance reportedly requires that accusers agree to confidentiality before proceeding with their complaint.
As BuzzFeed noted, Speier's legislation would revamp how the Office of Compliance handles complaints and force it to announce settlements.