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House Democratic Leader Condemns Conyers Over Harassment Allegations

FILE - House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called on her colleague John Conyers, the longest-serving member of Congress, to resign over allegations of sexual harassment.

“Congressman Conyers should resign," Pelosi said of her colleague, adding the women who spoke out against him were "brave" and deserved justice.

"As deemed, Congressman Conyers has served our Congress for more than five decades and shaped some of the most consequential legislation of the last half century. However, zero tolerance means consequences for everyone, no matter how great the legacy, it’s not license to harass or discriminate," she said.

WAtCH: Lawmakers Call on John Conyers to Resign His House Seat Amid Harassment Allegations

Lawmakers Call on Conyers to Resign House Seat Amid Harassment Allegations
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House Speaker Paul Ryan also called on Representative Conyers to resign "immediately" Thursday.

Hours earlier, Conyers' friend and political consultant Sam Riddle said that he had been admitted to a hospital in Detroit, without providing further details.

"(Conyers is under) tremendous stress due to media hounding, and political vultures and serial accusers," The Detroit News quoted Riddle as saying. "That type of stress would affect anybody."

FILE- Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., speaks during a hearing of the House Judiciary subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 4, 2017.
FILE- Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., speaks during a hearing of the House Judiciary subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 4, 2017.

The announcement came as Conyers' former aide publicly accused him of sexual harassment, telling NBC's today show that she was fired for rejecting her boss's sexual advances.

Marion Brown, 61, said her former boss propositioned her for sex multiple times over more than a decade. Brown is one of multiple women who has accused the 88-year-old Congressman of harassment, while revealing a "Hush Fund" on Capitol Hill that uses taxpayer funds to pay settlements.

Pelosi's condemnation came a day after the House passed a bill requiring members of Congress and their staffs to undergo mandatory sexual harassment training.

Congress also introduced legislation Wednesday that, if passed, would end the two-decade old practice of paying settlements with taxpayer money. The Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act would require transparent disclosure of the nature of claims settled in the office of Congressional Compliance.

The latest sexual harassment charge against Conyers is one of a number that have buffeted the Washington political scene. Democratic Senator Al Franken apologized Monday on Capitol Hill to "everyone who has counted on me to be a champion of women." Four women have accused Franken of initiating unwanted sexual contact in separate incidents.

Republican Representative Joe Barton has admitted he shared a nude photo of himself with an unidentified lover that circulated online. Barton, who has served in the House for 32 years, announced Thursday he will not seek reelection in 2018.

The revelations followed allegations that Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore sexually assaulted a 14-year old girl and had sexual encounters with several young women while when he was in his 30's. Moore is campaigning in a special election in Alabama that will be decided on December 12.

A year ago, President Donald Trump was accused by more than a dozen women of sexual assault or improper conduct. Many of the accusations became public when he was heard on an Access Hollywood tape boasting about kissing and groping women. Trump and the White House have denied the allegations.