While Pelosi and Lofgren are correct that every American, including a member of Congress, has a right to due process, they also fail to appreciate how tone-deaf their responses sound. After all, these aren’t just regular Americans in a regular job. They are public servants. They should want Americans to expect that a member of Congress will be held to a higher standard than a famous journalist or a Hollywood movie mogul.
Kicking the investigations of Conyers and Franken to the ethics committee fails to clear that higher standard. First, this is the kind of solution to the problem of sexual harassment we would have gotten 20 years ago. Where’s the “watershed” in that? Moreover, with approval ratings of Congress at close to zero percent, why would any normal person trust the findings of a congressional committee investigating one of its peers?