GOP rep: Farenthold should step down, reimburse taxpayers for $84K harassment settlement
© Greg Nash

Rep. Barbara ComstockBarbara Jean ComstockDemocrats can kiss swing voters goodbye with progressive ballot The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Dramatic battle looms after Kennedy’s retirement Election Countdown: Kennedy retirement shakes up midterms | Big primary night for progressives | Fallout from Crowley's defeat | Trump flexes his muscles in GOP primaries | The Hill's Latina Leaders spotlights 2018 candidates MORE (Va.) is calling on fellow Republican Rep. Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdEx-lawmakers see tough job market with trade groups Republican wins right to replace Farenthold in Congress Supreme Court rules for Texas in redistricting case MORE (Texas) to step down and reimburse taxpayers over a sexual harassment settlement.

"[H]e should pay back the money to the taxpayers," Comstock's deputy chief of staff Jeff Marschner told Politico.

"The Congresswoman would welcome a waiving of the nondisclosure agreement so the parties can come forward, particularly since we have not heard from the woman involved directly as we have in other cases.”

Farenthold reportedly used $84,000 in taxpayer funds in 2015 to settle a claim from his former communications director Lauren Greene, who said in her lawsuit that the Texas Republican told her he had "sexual fantasies" and "wet dreams" about her. Green said Farenthold told her in 2014 that he was "estranged from his wife and had not had sex with her in years."


Comstock — who authored a House resolution requiring annual sexual harassment awareness training for all members and staff — called for Farenthold to reimburse the full $84,000 and for both sides in the lawsuit to waive their confidentiality agreements so that full testimonies can be heard. 

Marschner confirmed that Comstock also thinks Farenthold should resign, a break with Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP leaders jockey for affection of House conservatives Five GOP lawmakers mulling bid to lead conservative caucus On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump walks back criticism of UK Brexit strategy | McConnell worries US in 'early stages' of trade war | US trade deficit with China hits new record MORE (R-Wis.), whose office said that he will not call on Farenthold to step down because the Office of Congressional Ethics investigated the claims against Farenthold and found no "substantial reason to believe" them, Politico reported.

The Hill has reached out to Comstock for comment.