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 LanceGun debate to shape 2020 races GOP fears Trump backlash in suburbs Bottom Line MORE (R-N.J.) will serve as the panel's chairman and Rep. Anthony BrownAnthony Gregory BrownDemocrat refuses to yield House floor, underscoring tensions on coronavirus vote Democratic Congresswoman Val Demings endorses Biden ahead of Florida primary Buttigieg, Klobuchar face uphill battle in pivot to diverse states 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 WagnerBottom line Campaigns face attack ad dilemma amid coronavirus crisis Members of House GOP leadership self-quarantining after first lawmakers test positive MORE (R-Mo.) and Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciWe need to prevent food waste at school Pelosi heading to Madrid for UN climate change convention Scientists join Democrats in panning EPA's 'secret science' rule 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.