How Nancy Pelosi was Wrong, then Wronger about Due Process


When Rep. John Conyers was revealed as an alleged sexual predator, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s instinct was to wait silently for nearly a week.

The most powerful woman in Democratic politics finally addressed the reports about Conyers on Sunday, but she called Conyers an “icon” and dismissed his accusers, noting that she didn’t
“know” them.

Pelosi backtracked somewhat on her defense Monday evening, and said that she believes the account of Melanie Sloan, who worked for Conyers and recalls him berating her repeatedly and
parading around his office in his underwear.

But Pelosi still didn’t call for Conyers to resign. Instead, she pointed to due process.

Pelosi’s attempt to throw Conyers’s case back to the justice system might be admirable if it weren’t so transparent.

She regularly works to strip due process rights from students on college campuses by supporting the Obama-era Title IX regulations that made college administrators the jury, judge, and executioner in campus sexual assault cases.

Plus, she didn’t have the same “innocent until proven guilty” proclivities when she called Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore a “child molester.”

The only reasonable motive left for Pelosi to call for “due process”—which only applies when the government seeks to deprive you of life, liberty, or property—is that she is trying to protect her Democratic colleague.

It’s not uncommon for Democrats to cover for their buddies—we can’t forget about former president Bill Clinton, former Sen. Ted Kennedy, and Sen. Al Franken.

But this runs deeper than just plain ol’ political hypocrisy.

By failing to properly denounce Conyers and call for his resignation, Pelosi is opening the door wider for all politicians—Republican and Democrat—to diminish serious allegations of sexual
assault and harassment.

In many ways, the left’s mishandling of sexual assault accusations, and the abuse of power by Bill Clinton and his friends, made it easier for Republicans to take less seriously the many allegations against Donald Trump.

The Democrats’ inability now to get rid of Conyers and Franken has allowed Republicans in Alabama to defend Roy Moore, who is accused of sexual misconduct with young and underage girls.

It’s deeply concerning because conservatism is rooted in Christian values and moral absolutism. Conservatives also pride themselves on standing up for the defenseless in society—in this
case, women who have been victims of sexual predators.

Pelosi getting tough on Conyers and Franken would be a win-win-win situation. A win for Democrats, by showing their party is tough on sexual assault. For conservatives, who will be reminded we don’t defend the accused on political grounds. And last but not least, for women, as we rid Congress of sexual abusers.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author


Amber Athey covers media and breaking news for The Daily Caller and is a columnist for Prior to joining TheDC, Amber reported on instances of liberal bias and abuse for Campus Reform and was a member of the 2016-17 Koch Associate Program. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Government and Economics from Georgetown University in 2016. While in school, Amber chaired the GU College Republicans and the Club Field Hockey team. Follow her on Twitter @amber_athey.

1 Comment

  1. As an officer of the House, she actually has a role in the due process of an accused member. For the same reason, Speaker Ryan did even less than she did and then followed her in calling for Conyers to resign after more facts came to light.

    That being said, for those not involved in the process rights of the accused (court officers, etc) do not have obligation of assuming “innocence until proven guilty.” A voter can use his own prudential judgment as to the guilt of an accused person like Judge Moore.

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