House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, on NBC’s ‘Meet The Press’ Sunday morning (NBC MTP screen grab)
Did you hear about Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi’s performance on Meet The Press this morning? Chuck Todd got into an exchange with her over Rep. John Conyers, and she refused to say if she believed the woman who accused him of sexual harassment, or if Conyers should resign. She also said that she has no idea who the Conyers accusers are, because they haven’t stepped forward.
Here’s why that is repulsive: Conyers settled a case with one accuser. The victim, whose name has not been revealed because she fears retaliation, received a $27,000 settlement in 2015 from Conyers’s office budget in exchange for her agreeing to drop her accusations and to remain silent about it all. Additionally, there are four signed affidavits — three of them notarized — by former Conyers staffers alleging that the powerful Michigan Democrats is a serial sexual harasser. (Buzzfeed News, which broke the story, did not release the names of the affidavit signers.) More from Buzzfeed:
Two staffers alleged in their signed affidavits that Conyers used congressional resources to fly in women they believed he was having affairs with. Another said she was tasked with driving women to and from Conyers’ apartment and hotel rooms.
Rep. Conyers did not admit fault as part of the settlement. His office did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Monday, but released a public statement on the matter Tuesday afternoon.
In her complaint, the former employee said Conyers repeatedly asked her for sexual favors and often asked her to join him in a hotel room. On one occasion, she alleges that Conyers asked her to work out of his room for the evening, but when she arrived the congressman started talking about his sexual desires. She alleged he then told her she needed to “touch it,” in reference to his penis, or find him a woman who would meet his sexual demands.
She alleged Conyers made her work nights, evenings, and holidays to keep him company.
In another incident, the former employee alleged the congressman insisted she stay in his room while they traveled together for a fundraising event. When she told him that she would not stay with him, she alleged he told her to “just cuddle up with me and caress me before you go.”
“Rep. Conyers strongly postulated that the performing of personal service or favors would be looked upon favorably and lead to salary increases or promotions,” the former employee said in the documents.
Three other staff members provided affidavits submitted to the Office Of Compliance that outlined a pattern of behavior from Conyers that included touching the woman in a sexual manner and growing angry when she brought her husband around.
Oh, and there’s this:
Another staffer said Conyers’ reputation made people fearful to speak out against him. Aside from being the longest-serving House member and the ranking member of a powerful committee, Conyers is a civil rights icon. He was lauded by Martin Luther King Jr. and is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
“Your story won’t do shit to him,” said the staffer. “He’s untouchable.”
Read the story. This is not a case of mere accusation. Money — taxpayer money, mind you! — changed hands from a Congressman to a former employee to make her go away and not tell anybody what he allegedly did. “Allegedly” is important, because under terms of the confidential settlement, Conyers does not admit guilt, but the woman forfeits the right to press charges in the future. But there’s much more here than has been brought against Judge Roy Moore.
Who she called a “child molester” in the same interview.
Make no mistake about it: Nancy Pelosi this morning just gave Republican voters permission to vote for Roy Moore. She revealed that in the end, power is all that matters, not principle. Why, exactly, are Alabama Republicans supposed to stand on principle and vote for a member of Nancy Pelosi’s party, or withhold their votes from the morally compromised Republican, when the House Democratic leader is unwilling to take a stand against one of her own, despite his having transferred $27,000 of taxpayer money into the bank account of a woman he wanted to silence and send away?
Nancy Pelosi is as much of a hypocrite as those she accuses. No wonder people are sick and tired of elites like her. And the fact that Nancy Pelosi is a hypocrite who defends a dirty old man like John Conyers is not a moral disinfectant for Moore voters, either. Still, I have no doubt now that Roy Moore is going to win, thanks to Nancy Pelosi. If John Conyers were white, that would have been enough. But the fact that he is black, and that his race — as well as his record on civil rights — makes him untouchable, will fire up a certain kind of Alabama Republican.
This is true:
Across the ideological spectrum right now, moral norms are replaced by sheer power dynamics. Dangerous times are coming. https://t.co/gf72wQeIUE
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) November 26, 2017
Well, Uncle Chuckie did tell us that we’re in for a Cosimanian Orthodox future, didn’t he?