Politics

Here Are the 7 Congressmen Accused of Sexual Misconduct Since #MeToo

Rep. Patrick Meehan is most recent resignation from Congress over sexual misconduct allegations

Gretchen Carlson arrives for the press conference with members of Congress in the Capitol on a new bipartisan bill to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace on Wednesday. The bill passed the House, but no action has been made in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Pat Meehan announced his resignation from Congress Friday following reports that he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment complaint with a former aide.

Meehan had previously announced he would not run for re-election. He cited sparing his staff from an Ethics investigation as the cause for the early exit.

Other members remain in office or have already backed out.

Here’s a list of accused members so far:

Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Pa., talks on his phone as he walks down the House steps following votes in the Capitol on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Pat Meehan, R-Pa., talks on his phone as he walks down the House steps following votes in the Capitol on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pat Meehan

Meehan resigned Friday effective immediately following months of criticism  after a New York Times report revealed he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment complaint with a former aide.

Meehan said he will repay the $39,000 to the U.S. treasury to reimburse the severance payment made from his office account within a month of leaving the House.

"I did not want to leave with any question of violating the trust of taxpayers," Meehan said in his resignation announcement

The House Ethics Committee removed Rep. Pat Meehan from the panel as it investigates him for sexual harassment

The Pennsylvania Republican reportedly became hostile when he learned the aide, who is much younger, did not reciprocate his feelings and learned she was involved in a relationship with another man.

 

Former Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., leaves the Democratic Senate Policy luncheon in the Capitol on December 12, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Former Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., leaves the Democratic Senate Policy luncheon in the Capitol on December 12, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Al Franken

Eight women accused former Sen. Al Franken of sexual misconduct before his resignation in January.

Franken was the first Congress member accused of sexual misconduct after the #MeToo movement picked up in 2017. The allegations came to light when a Los Angeles radio news anchor accused the senator of groping and kissing her without consent in an open letter on the radio station’s website.

The Senator left the Hill January 2 following calls for his resignation and a Senate Ethics Committee investigation. Franken resigned before the investigation began.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., takes his seat as he arrives for the House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., takes his seat as he arrives for the House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Trent Franks

Former Rep. Trent Franks resigned December 8 after multiple reports of inappropriate behavior toward female staffers.

Franks had asked two female staffers to act as surrogates for him and his wife, but it wasn’t clear if the congressman was expecting them to have sexual relations with him. Franks also tried to convince a female aide she was in love with him, according to a former staffer. Another female staffer said she felt retaliated against after turning Franks down.

Soon after Franks’ announcement, a former Franks staffer said the congressman offered her $5 million to carry his child,  the Associated Press reported. The staffer Franks asked her at least four times to be a surrogate in exchange for money.

Former Republican state Sen. Debbie Lesko officially won the race to replace Franks’ representing Arizona’s 8th District Tuesday night.

Watch: Farenthold Resigns from Congress

Blake Farenthold

Rep. Blake Farentholdresigned April 6, four months after news broke that he had settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with taxpayer money.

Farenthold had already decided in December not to run for re-election following a renewed Ethics Committee investigation into sexual harassment, inappropriate comments to staff and discrimination based on gender. In early December that the Treasury Department had paid $84,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit with Farenthold’s former communications director, Politico reported

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott set the special election to replace Farenthold for June 30.

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., walks down the House steps after voting in the Capitol on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., walks down the House steps after voting in the Capitol on Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

John Conyers Jr.

Former Rep. John Conyers resigned December 5 last year following a Buzzfeed News report on the Representative's sexual harassment settlement.

Marion Brown, the former staffer was paid a roughly $27,000 settlement drawn from Conyers’ congressional office budget — not the Office of Congressional Compliance fund set aside for congressional settlements.

After initially denying that he has not settled with any current or former staff members, Conyers admitted he had reached a monetary settlement with a former staff member. But the case was resolved “with an express denial of liability,” he said.

Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., participates in the House Democrats' news conference on health care reform in the Capitol on Thursday, July 20, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., participates in the House Democrats’ news conference on health care reform in the Capitol on Thursday, July 20, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Bobby Scott

Representative Robert C. Scott remains in office following allegations of sexual harassment by a former staff member.

Former fellow M. Reese Everson with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation accused the representative this December of sexually harassing her. Scott confirmed that Everson had worked for him in November.

Everson said she was “wrongfully terminated,” “blackballed and blacklisted” after the harassment.

Scott has denied Everson’s accusations and others have raised questions about her credibility. 

 

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., walks down the House steps after final votes of the week in the Capitol on March 8, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., walks down the House steps after final votes of the week in the Capitol on March 8, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ruben Kihuen

Rep. Ruben Kihuen said he is not resigning amid allegations of sexual harassment. Top Democrats have called on him to step down.

A former Kihuen campaign staffer had rebuffed multiple advances and said he touched her without her consent Buzzfeed News reported last December. On Wednesday night, that a female lobbyist had received persistent and unwanted advances from Kihuen, through hundreds of text messages, and was also touched without her consent  the Nevada Independent reported.

The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into Kihuen December 15.

Bridget Bowman, Griffin Connolly, Simone Pathé and Eric Garcia contributed to this report.

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