Editor’s Note: Pelosi’s due process double standard
When I heard House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi defending due process, I was pleasantly surprised.
“We are strengthened by due process,” she said in a weekend interview on “Meet the Press.”
Then I realized she was only supporting this fundamental American right because the accused in question was a fellow Democrat.
Rep. John Conyers, D-Detroit, is in the hot seat after a series of sexual misconduct allegations have come to light — including that he used taxpayer funds to settle a wrongful dismissal complaint.
In the interview, Pelosi defended Conyers as an “icon.”
“He will do the right thing in terms of what he knows about his situation,” she said. “He’s entitled to due process, but women are entitled to due process, as well.”
Pelosi went on to say Conyers deserves a fair investigation by the House Ethics Committee. Since that interview Sunday, she’s backed away slowly from her comments and on Thursday called for Conyers to resign (after she took a lot of criticism for her initial response).
But her hypocrisy remains. Pelosi was one of the loudest voices protesting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ decision to revisit the Obama-era framework for campus sexual assault investigations. In September, DeVos explained in detail why she was doing this, and at the heart of her concerns was the fact due process for students accused of sexual assault and harassment had been stripped from these campus tribunals.
In an overwrought statement, Pelosi responded: “All students have the right to feel safe on campus. Democrats will continue to stand with survivors, and fight the Trump administration’s outrageous, immoral attacks on Title IX protections.”
She was even behind legislation this fall to put the Obama administration’s widely criticized campus assault guidelines into law.
Pelosi may be changing her tune, but upholding due process for Conyers while denying college students the same right is hardly fair.