Ethics Expands Farenthold Investigation, Announces Kihuen Probe

Committee now looking into whether Farenthold had congressional staff do campaign work

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, announced he would not seek re-election amid sexual harrassment allegations. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House Ethics Committee announced it has established an investigation into claims of sexual harassment by Rep. Ruben Kihuen and expanded its probe of Rep. Blake Farenthold.

Two letters released by the committee Thursday laid out the details.

The letter about Kihuen said the committee voted unanimously to establish a subcommittee to determine whether the Nevada Democrat “engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual harassment, in violation of House Rules, law, regulations or other standards of conduct.”

Kihuen announced he would not seek re-election after BuzzFeed News and the Nevada Independent both reported stories from women who claimed Kihuen sexually harassed them.

A separate letter from the committee announced it would expand the jurisdiction of its investigation of Farenthold to determine whether the Texas Republican violated any rules or laws related to sexual harassment, discrimination or retaliation.

But the letter also said it would investigate “allegations that Representative Farenthold’s staff may have used House resources, including staff time, to benefit his congressional campaigns” and whether he required members of his congressional staff to work on his campaign.

Lastly, the committee wrote it would look into whether Farenthold may have made false statements or omissions in his testimony.

CNN reported that a former Farenthold aide told the Ethics Committee she was pressured into performing campaign-related duties.

The investigation into Farenthold was opened earlier this month after a report by Politico that taxpayers paid $84,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim against him.

Watch: What Got Left in Our Notebooks in 2017

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