WASHINGTON — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi's call for Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., to resign amid sexual harassment allegations came only after several days of internal party turmoil between party leaders who had been insisting that Conyers deserved an ethics investigation and rank-and-file members who said it was time for him to step down. Pelosi's remarks Thursday morning were an evolution from her position on Sunday, when she called the longtime congressman an "icon" and appeared to question his accusers on NBC's "Meet the Press." “It’s very sad," Pelosi said Thursday at a news conference. "The brave women who came forward are owed justice. I pray for Congressman Conyers and his family. I wish them well. However Congressman Conyers should resign.” A parade of Democratic House leaders were soon making the same call, including Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland and Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina. For most of the past week Democrats have grappled with how to address the misdeeds of a colleague who has been publicly accused by four women of sexual harassment but who had been instrumental in the civil rights movement. Pelosi began the week on “Meet the Press” by raising questions about the accusations against Conyers. "We are strengthened by due process. Just because someone is accused — and was it one accusation? Is it two?" Pelosi. Later that day, she issued a tougher statement, announcing that Conyers would be stepping down from his post as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. The Democrats' divisions came to a head during the party's weekly caucus meeting Wednesday morning, where the conversation turned tense when the subject of Conyers came up. Eight lawmakers spoke on the topic, according to a source in the room. The leadership split with many in the rank and file by arguing in favor of letting the ethics investigation determine if Conyers should face any repercussions. Others said the party and the country could not make progress on having an honest conversation about sexual harassment until the party confronted its own problems. Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., who is on Pelosi’s leadership team, argued that Conyers should be allowed