An attorney for embattled Rep. John Conyers (D., Mich.) accused House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) of hypocrisy on Thursday, questioning why she called for Conyers to resign but not Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.).
"At the end of the day, I would suspect that Nancy Pelosi is going to have to explain what is the discernible difference between Al Franken and John Conyers," Conyers' attorney Arnold Reed told reporters. "That is a question she is going to have to answer."
Pelosi called for the congressman's resignation during her weekly press conference on Thursday after initially responding to allegations of sexual misconduct against Conyers by calling for due process and calling him an "icon." Pelosi backtracked her defense the next day after meeting with one of the women who made claims against the congressman. In the midst of mounting pressure for Conyers to resign, and a Thursday announcement he was hospitalized for "stress-related" reasons, Pelosi called for his resignation. The Democratic leader has not, however, done so for Franken who has been accused of groping six women.
At least three women have accused the Michigan Democrat of sexual harassment.
Reed added his client would not heed Pelosi's call to step down.
"It is not up to Nancy Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi did not elect the congressman, and she sure as hell won't be the one to tell the congressman to leave," he said.
Reed insisted Conyer's accusers were lying, questioning how one alleged victim, Marion Brown, could suffer harassment "so pervasive that it caused her mental problems and mental issues, and she stayed on for 11 years?"
"She [Pelosi] is jumping on the bandwagon now," he argued.
Brown has stated Conyers "violated" her body, the New York Times reported.
"Some of the things that he did, it was sexual harassment," Brown said. "Violating my body, propositioning me, inviting me to hotels with the guise of discussing business, and then propositioning for sex. He just violated my body. He has touched me in different ways, and it was very uncomfortable and very unprofessional."