Ethics Committee announces lawmakers on panel probing Farenthold

Ethics Committee announces lawmakers on panel probing Farenthold
© Greg Nash

The House Ethics Committee on Wednesday announced the lawmakers that will serve on the subcommittee charged with investigating sexual harassment allegations against Rep. Blake FarentholdRandolph (Blake) Blake FarentholdMembers spar over sexual harassment training deadline Female Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Lawmaker seeks to ban ex-members from lobbying until sexual harassment settlements repaid MORE (R-Texas).

Rep. Leonard LanceLeonard LanceBottom Line Push for ‘Medicare for all’ worries centrist Dems Incoming Dem lawmaker: Trump 'sympathizes' with leaders 'accused of moral transgressions' MORE (R-N.J.) will serve as the panel's chairman and Rep. Anthony BrownAnthony Gregory BrownAssault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment The Hill's Morning Report — Trump retreats on census citizenship question MORE (D-Md.) has been tapped to serve as its ranking member, according to a statement released by the Ethics Committee's top lawmakers.

Two other lawmakers, Reps. Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerLiberal think tank: GOP paid parental leave proposals are too narrow A true believer in diversity, inclusion GOP amps up efforts to recruit women candidates MORE (R-Mo.) and Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciHouse lawmakers introduce bill to help those struggling with student debt Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Lawmakers put spotlight on youth homelessness MORE (D-Ore.), will also sit on the investigative panel.

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The Ethics Committee announced last week that it would open an investigation into Farenthold, particularly whether he sexually harassed a former staffer and retaliated against her when she complained about his conduct. 

The staffer, Lauren Greene, was fired from Farenthold's office in 2014 and filed a lawsuit against the congressman later that year. Politico reported earlier this month that Farenthold settled that suit in 2015 for $84,000 in taxpayer money.

Farenthold has said that he will repay the settlement. 

The revelation of the payout and allegations against Farenthold came as a number of powerful men in politics, media, business and beyond have faced allegations of sexual misconduct and mounting pressure to resign from their jobs.

Several lawmakers have called for a crackdown on sexual harassment in Congress, while three members of Congress have recently resigned after various claims of sexual misconduct.