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Leader Pelosi: I Believe Conyers' Accuser

Last Monday, BuzzFeed broke the news that Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) settled with a former employee who accused him of sexual harassment. Per congressional practice, this settlement was paid using taxpayer funds.

Now, amid massive public backlash against Conyers, who has served in Congress since 1965, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi publicly declared that she believes his one of his several accusers.

Nancy Pelosi, right, and John Conyers, left

After the report that the 27-term congressman had settled a misconduct claim, another accuser, Melanie Sloan, publicly came out against him. A report published by CNN reads,

Sloan came forward with allegations against Conyers from her time working on Capitol Hill in the 1990s, including one instance where she recalled being called to Conyers' office to find him wearing only his underwear. 
Sloan told The Washington Post that Conyers "routinely yelled at and berated her" during her time working for the congressman, and that she was ignored when she tried to receive help on the matter and went to congressional leadership.

Conyers denied the accusations leveled against him, but on Sunday, he did step aside from his leadership post on the Judiciary Committee. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who initially defended Conyers and heralded his record, came out against him on Monday amid massive public pressure.

A press release issued by Pelosi's office reads,

Ms. Sloan told me that she had publicly discussed distressing experiences while on his staff. I find the behavior Ms. Sloan described unacceptable and disappointing. I believe what Ms. Sloan has told me.

Pelosi's withdrawal of support for Conyers, whom she previously called an "icon," may damage his ability to withstand the mounting calls for his resignation from Congress.