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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Rep. John Conyers — who has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women — is an "icon in our country." She added, "He has done a great deal to protect women ... I believe he understands what's at stake here, and he will do the right thing." Pelosi made the comments on NBC's Meet the Press with Chuck Todd.

Why it matters: Critics of Congress's culture say the process for dealing with sexual harassment allegations discourages victims from coming forward and protects the accused. On Conyers, Pelosi said, "We are strengthened by due process. Just because someone is accused — and was it one accusation? Is it two?"

Conyers has denied the allegations, detailed in a BuzzFeed report last week, though he did admit to paying a legal settlement to a former employee for wrongful termination. The woman said she was fired because she rejected his repeated unwanted sexual advances.

Pelosi said the House's Ethics Committee should investigate Conyers, but that he is innocent until proven guilty.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.