House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Saturday called for an ethics investigation into Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., who this week acknowledged that he is the unnamed defendant in a Jane Doe lawsuit alleging he molested a 16-year-old girl.
Cardenas has denied the allegations, and contacted fellow members of Congress in recent days to assert his innocence in connection with the lawsuit.
In a statement Saturday, Pelosi said Cardenas “appropriately asked us to withhold judgment until there is a full investigation of the facts.”
She called on the House Ethics Committee to investigate and said the congressman “will fully cooperate.”
“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 said.
The committee has investigated several House members in the past year who have been accused of sexual harassment or assault, and some of them resigned.
Last week, Cardenas’ attorney, Patricia Glaser, used similar terms asking for patience.
“We ask that his constituents, the public generally, and his congressional colleagues do the right thing and appropriately withhold judgment until
Pelosi calls for ethics investigation into molestation accusation against Cardenas
has been a full vetting of the facts,” Glaser said.
So far, only two local political figures — including one of Cardenas’ opponents in the June 5 primary — have suggested that he should step down.