Mixed Outcomes for Members Accused of Sexual Harassment in #MeToo Aftermath

Eight have either resigned or announced retirements in recent months

Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Murphy, center, resigned in October following reports that he asked a woman with whom he’d had an extramarital affair to get an abortion. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Here’s a look at how several lawmakers have responded to accusations of sexual misconduct since the #MeToo movement began last year.


Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., a member of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, after reports that he had asked a woman with whom he’d had an extramarital affair to get an abortion. Announced Oct. 5, effective Oct. 21.

Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., the longest serving member of the House, after reports that he used taxpayer money to pay a former aide a $27,000 secret sexual harassment settlement, and accusations of sexual misconduct from multiple former aides. Announced and effective Dec. 5.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., after reports that he had asked two female aides to be surrogate mothers to his babies. Announced Dec. 7, effective Dec. 8.

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., amid allegations that he inappropriately touched several women. Announced Dec. 7, effective Jan. 2.


Rep. Joe L. Barton, R-Texas, after reports that he had sent lewd images and sexually explicit text messages to women with whom he had extramarital affairs. Announced Nov. 3o.

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, after reports that he had paid a former aide a secret $84,000 settlement to resolve a claim alleging sexual harassment and other misconduct, and allegations that he was verbally abusive toward another aide. Farenthold vowed to repay the money but has not followed through. Announced Dec. 14.

Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., after allegations that he sexually harassed a former campaign aide. Other women have since come forward with similar allegations. Announced Dec. 16.

Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., a member of the House Ethics Committee, after reports that he used his Member’s Representational Allowance to pay thousands of dollars to a former aide to settle her sexual harassment claim. Announced Jan. 25.

No Change

Rep. Alcee L. Hastings, D-Fla. Taxpayer funds were used to pay a secret $220,000 settlement to a former aide at the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe who alleged Hastings had sexually harassed her while he chaired the commission. Hastings has denied the allegations and said he did not know of the settlement before it was reported in Roll Call on Dec. 8.

Rep. Robert C. Scott, D-Va., accused Dec. 15 by a former fellow with the Congressional Black Caucus of inappropriately touching and asking to “flirt” with her. Scott has denied the allegations.

Watch: Former Congresswomen Reflect on Sexual Harassment Issues

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