Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas)—a man “so unattractive it’s unbelievable,” in the abundantly correct words of Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine)—was sued in 2014 by his former communications director for gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and creating a hostile work environment, and was recently reported to have settled the case using taxpayer dollars. He was cleared in an Office of Congressional Ethics investigation in 2015, but now the House Ethics Committee has launched a new investigation into the matter.
In her lawsuit, Lauren Greene claimed that Farenthold and an aide made inappropriate sexual comments to her (in one instance, aide Bob Haueter allegedly told her that Farenthold had “sexual fantasies” and “wet dreams” about her) and that she was fired when she complained. She left D.C., and says she has since struggled to find employment.
Greene’s attorney told Politico that the Ethics Committee is “actively seeking Lauren’s cooperation.” He said he did not know why the OCE initially cleared Farenthold in 2015.
Two prominent Democratic politicians have resigned following pressure from colleagues amid sexual misconduct allegations, and Republican Rep. Trent Franks resigned on Thursday following a sexual harassment investigation. Thus far only one Republican has called for Farenthold’s resignation. I wonder if that number will rise? Like, honestly, I wonder!
UPDATE: Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) has called on Farenthold to resign.
“I don’t think he thinks he’s done anything wrong,” she told CNN. “But the fact is, someone was paid off. What’s really frustrating to me is that it’s taxpayer dollars that [were] used.” Watch here: