"Michigan Rep. John Conyers reportedly settled a wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015 with a former staffer who accused the Democrat of firing her because she would not "succumb to [his] sexual advances".
Democrat John Conyers, the longest-serving member of the US Congress and an iconic civil rights leader, said Sunday he is stepping down from a leadership position as he battles allegations of sexual harassment.
"I have asked for an ethics investigation, and as that investigation continues, Congressman Conyers has agreed to step aside as Ranking Member", Pelosi said.
"After careful consideration and in light of the attention drawn by recent allegations made against me, I have notified the Democratic Leader of my request to step aside", said Conyers in a written statement on Sunday.
"To be clear, I would like very much to remain as Ranking Member". "I very much look forward to vindicating myself and my family before the House Committee on Ethics".
Judiciary Committee's ranking member, pending the outcome of the ethics probe.
Conyers said there is "still much work to be done" in "the face of an Administration that cares little for the rule of law and a President whose actions and conduct cheapens our discourse every day" - a jab at the Trump White House.
Mr Conyers has said the $27,000 payout was meant to resolve the issue and did not constitute an admission of culpability.
He added, "I am grateful to my colleagues who have called for due process before weighing judgment. He has done a great deal to protect women", Pelosi told Chuck Todd Sunday on NBC News' Meet the Press.
But separately, she tweeted, in reference to Conyers, that "no matter how great an individual's legacy, it is not a license for harassment".
For the record, Pelosi's remark about Conyers' accusers not having come forward is not true. She also said he also once came to a meeting in his underwear. "As John reviews his case, I believe he will do the right thing". "Just because someone was accused, and was it one accusation, was it two, I think there has to be―John Conyers is an icon in our country", Pelosi said, defending the 88-year-old representative.