Ethics Committee Launches Investigation Into Rep. Farenthold Sexual Harassment Claims

Ceria Alfonso
Diciembre 8, 2017

The allegations of sexual misconduct by Congressman Blake Farenthold will be examined by the U.S. House Ethics Committee, two years after a congressional probe cleared the four-term Republican from Corpus Christi. The suit was settled for $84,000 paid by taxpayers, it was learned last week.

The decision follows a report by Politico last week that identified Farenthold as the legislator behind the payout, which came from a little-known congressional fund that can be used to settle lawsuits filed against lawmakers.

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Intrigue and concern over sexual harassment is at the center of almost every conversation in Washington, and Farenthold's political fate is a frequent topic of conversation among members of both parties.

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"In the course of this investigation, the committee sought the analysis of Representative Nunes' statements by classification experts in the intelligence community", the ethics committee said. In addition, both Farenthold and the former aide had expressed an interest in increased transparency. However, it noted that "establishing an investigative subcommittee does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred". But Brooks, the committee's chairwoman, and ranking Democrat Deutch said more information is needed.

The committee said it will investigate whether Farenthold sexually harassed a former member of his staff and retaliated against her for complaining. However, a press release announcing the subcommittee's formation said the resolution of the case had been significantly delayed by difficulties in obtaining testimony from key witnesses and in accessing confidential documents the parties exchanged as the lawsuit was ongoing.

"Once all the facts are released, I'm confident this matter will once and for all be settled and resolved", he added. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) to resign.

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