As the #MeToo movement took hold in the past two years, nine members of the 115th Congress relinquished their seats amid allegations of sexual misconduct. That’s more than any Congress since at least 1901, based on an analysis of congressional departures by FiveThirtyEight.
Two other lawmakers left under scrutiny for financial or ethical improprieties, two who joined the Trump administration were later forced to resign their Cabinet posts, and two representatives indicted last year are still in office fighting the charges.
The latter two — Republican Reps. Duncan Hunter of California and Chris Collins of New York — are proclaiming their innocence while the cases against them proceed. Hunter has been charged in federal court with using campaign funds for personal expenses; Collins is facing charges of securities fraud as part of an insider trading scheme.
From the archives: What Are the Sexual Misconduct Charges Against Current Democratic Members?
The two former House members tainted by scandals in the Trump administration have returned to private life:
• Georgia Republican Tom Price, who was Health and Human Services secretary for seven months before resigning in September 2017 due to misuse of private and chartered flights while in office, was part of the transition team for Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp but hasn’t been reported to be in another position since Kemp took office in January.
• Montana Republican Ryan Zinke, who was Interior secretary until December when he was forced out amid reports that he used the office for personal gain, is now a managing director at cybersecurity and blockchain company Artillery One.
Others who left the 115th Congress under a cloud, in order of their resignation or retirement announcement:
• Pennsylvania Republican Tim Murphy resigned on Oct. 21, 2017, after revelations that he pressured a woman with whom he was having an affair to get an abortion. Murphy was a fervent opponent of abortion during his nearly 15 years in the House.
• Texas Republican Joe L. Barton announced on Nov. 30, 2017, that he would not seek reelection to the House after reports of extramarital relationships with multiple women before his 2015 divorce. A lewd photo he had sent to one of the women circulated online the week before his announcement.
• Michigan Democrat John Conyers Jr. resigned Dec. 5, 2017, after multiple allegations of sexual harassment during his 47 years in the House.
• Arizona Republican Trent Franks resigned on Dec. 8, 2017, after he was accused of offering $5 million to a female employee to be a surrogate mother of his children. She and another female employee worried that Franks wanted to have sex in order to impregnate them, according to an investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
• Nevada Democrat Ruben Kihuen announced on Dec. 16, 2017, that he would not run for reelection in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations. The House Ethics Committee later concluded that Kihuen “made persistent and unwanted advances toward women who were required to work with him.”
• Minnesota Democrat Al Franken resigned from the Senate on Jan. 2, 2018, after he was accused by eight different women of inappropriate contact in incidents that occurred both before and after he became a senator in 2009.
• Pennsylvania Democrat Robert A. Brady announced on Jan. 31, 2018, that he would not seek reelection amid allegations that he conspired with former campaign strategists to pay a Democratic primary challenger in his district $90,000 to exit the race.
• Connecticut Democrat Elizabeth Esty announced on April 1, 2018, that she would not seek reelection after reports that she had allowed a chief of staff in her House office to work for months after Esty had been told he had harassed, abused and threatened a female staffer.
• Texas Republican Blake Farenthold resigned from the House on April 6, 2018, after a former aide charged him with sexual harassment. Tax dollars were used to pay an $84,000 settlement. While Farenthold initially said he would reimburse, he now says he has no intention of paying it back.
• Pennsylvania Republican Patrick Meehan resigned on April 27, 2018, following published reports that he used taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment case in 2016.
• Virginia Republican Tom Garrett announced on May 28, 2018, that he was an alcoholic and would not seek reelection. The admission came as the House Ethics Committee was investigating allegations that he used his congressional aides to run personal errands for him and his wife.
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