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 FarentholdFormer aides alleging sexual harassment on Capitol Hill urge congressional action AP Analysis: 25 state lawmakers running in 2018 have been accused of sexual misconduct Ex-lawmakers see tough job market with trade groups MORE (R-Texas).

Rep. Leonard LanceLeonard LanceMonmouth poll: Incumbent GOP candidate trails Dem challenger in New Jersey House race Blue-state Republicans say they will vote against 'tax cuts 2.0' if it extends SALT cap House panels set up to probe indicted GOP Reps. Collins, Hunter MORE (R-N.J.) will serve as the panel's chairman and Rep. Anthony BrownAnthony Gregory BrownHouse panels set up to probe indicted GOP Reps. Collins, Hunter Watchdog says administration officials made misleading statements on FBI headquarters Using military attorneys to prosecute border crossers is a bad look for the White House 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 WagnerCongress should provide parents an opportunity to care for newborn and adopted children Paid family leave could give new parents a much-needed lifeline Vulnerable Republicans include several up-and-coming GOP leaders MORE (R-Mo.) and Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciLawmakers, media serve up laughs at annual 'Will on the Hill' Congress — when considering women’s health, don’t forget about lung cancer Overnight Energy: Two top Pruitt aides resign at EPA | 17 states sue EPA over car emissions rules | Volkswagen to pay West Virginia .5M over emissions cheating 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.