House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) responded Saturday to allegations leveled at Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-CA) of sexual assault against a minor. Pelosi called for a “prompt investigation” of the incident by the House Ethics Committee but did not call for his resignation.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Cardenas is facing a lawsuit alleging that he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl more than a decade ago in a car on the way to the hospital after he gave her water with a “peculiar taste” and she collapsed. The woman said she decided to come forward now because of the #MeToo movement.
Cardenas' attorney, Patricia Glaser, has responded that the woman behind the suit is the daughter of a "disgruntled former employee" and "may be the victim of manipulation."
"My client is sickened and distraught by these horrific allegations, which are 100%, categorically untrue," she said Thursday.
“I have spoken with Congressman Cárdenas and he appropriately asked us to withhold judgement until there is a full investigation of the facts,” Pelosi said in her statement on the matter Saturday.
“As Members of Congress, we each have a responsibility to uphold the integrity of the House of Representatives, and any type of alleged misconduct must be investigated by the Ethics Committee,” she added. “Congressman Cárdenas said he will fully cooperate with an Ethics investigation.”
Pelosi has an odd history when it comes to calling for Democrats accused of sexual misconduct to resign.
Pelosi initially called for an ethics investigation into Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) over sexual assault allegations but also called him an “icon” who was “entitled to due process.”
After she spoke with one of his accusers, Pelosi ended up calling for his resignation.