Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX) will not run for reelection and will retire from Congress at the end of his term in 2019. Farenthold has been accused of sexual misconduct by several of his former female staffers. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) had reportedly asked Farenthold to retire immediately, but Farenthold refused and will serve out the remainder of his term.
Farenthold has served in Congress since 2011.
Two Republicans say that Texas GOP Rep. Blake Farenthold, facing sexual misconduct allegations, won't seek re-election next year. https://t.co/xL0MZwLfB3— The Associated Press (@AP) December 14, 2017
Official word out of @SpeakerRyan World: He asked @farenthold to RETIRE, not resign. ?????? https://t.co/HhKCISe0Dk— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) December 14, 2017
GOP source confirms: @farenthold is retiring under pressure from @SpeakerRyan, who spoke twice to congressman on Wed. & told him he should RESIGN. He’s resisting.— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) December 14, 2017
The House Ethics Committee is investigating Farenthold for both sexual harassment and for retaliation against the woman who reported him. The Washington Post reported earlier in December that Farenthold had used $84,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim.
Farenthold has said he "absolutely did not engage in any improper conduct" and that an investigation had previously cleared him of any wrongdoing.
"I just want to let everyone know, I absolutely did not engage in any improper conduct. I was investigated by the office of congressional ethics, and they found 6-0, there wasn't enough effort ," said Farenthold.
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