Rep. Blake Farenthold faces ethics probe after sexual harassment allegations

Sergio Conner
December 8, 2017

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics announced Thursday it is investigating sexual assault allegations against Rep. Blake Farenthold, after he reportedly settled a claim brought by his former communications director using taxpayer money.

"The Committee on Ethics does not appear to be letting it lie with the Office of Congressional Ethics' recommendation not to pursue further", Greene's attorney, Les Alderman told Politico. "I'm also pleased the Committee on Ethics recognizes, as per their statement, that I have cooperated fully with the committee's investigation and has acknowledged a decision has been delayed because of difficulty obtaining live testimony from other witnesses".

"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.

Another Farenthold aide told Greene that the congressman said he had "sexual fantasies" and "wet dreams" about Greene, she said, and when Greene complained, she was sacked.

The inquiry also would concern "allegations that Representative Farenthold made inappropriate statements to other members of his official staff". "This investigation increases the transparency the public deserves and what I've wanted since the beginning".

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On Thursday, however, Peace, a 37-year-old mother of two, described Farenthold's office as a hostile work environment and said she regretted that her previous remarks had sounded like an endorsement.

"He allowed the hostility in his office to continue".

Farenthold subsequently said he was taking out a personal loan to cover the settlement's costs.

Farenthold, 55, is the first member of Congress now known to have benefited from a little known Treasury Department fund created to cover workplace settlements involving lawmakers.

When she complained about the alleged misconduct, Farenthold improperly fired her, according to the report.

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