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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 FarentholdThe biggest political upsets of the decade Members spar over sexual harassment training deadline Female Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations MORE (R-Texas).

Rep. Leonard LanceLeonard LanceThomas Kean wins GOP primary to take on Rep. Tom Malinowski Gun debate to shape 2020 races GOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs MORE (R-N.J.) will serve as the panel's chairman and Rep. Anthony BrownAnthony Gregory BrownDemocrats to levy fines on maskless lawmakers on House floor Growing number of lawmakers test positive for COVID-19 after Capitol siege Democrats offer bill fining lawmakers who don't wear masks in Capitol 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 WagnerTrump era bows out with scorched-earth drama in divided GOP Democrats projected to retain House majority Live updates: Democrats seek to extend House advantage MORE (R-Mo.) and Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciLawmakers condemn Trump's 'destabilizing' and 'politicizing' moves on climate assessment OVERNIGHT ENERGY:  House passes sweeping clean energy bill | Pebble Mine CEO resigns over secretly recorded comments about government officials  | Corporations roll out climate goals amid growing pressure to deliver Pelosi, Blumenaur condemn 'egregious abuses of power' by Trump against Oregon protestors 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.