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 FarentholdLawmaker seeks to ban ex-members from lobbying until sexual harassment settlements repaid Former Texas lawmaker Blake Farenthold resigns from lobbying job Congress sends bill overhauling sexual harassment policy to Trump's desk MORE (R-Texas).

Rep. Leonard LanceLeonard LanceIncoming Dem lawmaker: Trump 'sympathizes' with leaders 'accused of moral transgressions' On The Money: Why the tax law failed to save the GOP majority | Grassley opts for Finance gavel, setting Graham up for Judiciary | Trump says China eager for trade deal | Facebook reeling after damning NYT report Tax law failed to save GOP majority MORE (R-N.J.) will serve as the panel's chairman and Rep. Anthony BrownAnthony Gregory BrownOvernight Defense: Gillibrand offers bill to let transgender troops serve | Pentagon ready to protect US personnel in Venezuela | Dems revive fight with Trump over Saudis Gillibrand introduces bipartisan bill to allow transgender military service Dem bill would let essential workers collect unemployment during shutdown 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 WagnerScalise, Wagner plan to introduce discharge petition for abortion bill House Dems unveil initial GOP targets in 2020 GOP scrambles to prevent shutdown after right-wing insurrection MORE (R-Mo.) and Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciOvernight Energy: Ocasio-Cortez rolls out Green New Deal measure | Pelosi taps members for climate panel | AOC left out | Court reviews order for EPA to ban pesticide Ocasio-Cortez: ‘I truly do not’ believe Pelosi snubbed me on climate change panel Pelosi names Dems to new climate panel — but not AOC 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.