Rep. Mia Love (R-Utah) wants Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) to resign from Congress after it was discovered that he used $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim.
“I don’t think he thinks he’s done anything wrong,” Love told CNN Thursday. “But the fact is, someone was paid off. It’s taxpayer dollars that [were] used. This is about people taking responsibility for what they do and changing the culture in Washington.”
Few congressional Republicans have publicly called for Farenthold’s ouster. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) said in a statement released by her deputy chief of staff that Farenthold should step aside and pay back the taxpayer money. Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.) on Friday also called for Farenthold’s resignation.
The House Ethics Committee voted Thursday to launch an investigation into the allegation that Farenthold sexually harassed a female former staff member and retaliated against her.
In a statement to HuffPost last week, Farenthold wouldn’t confirm that his office was behind the $84,000 settlement.
“While I 100% support more transparency with respect to claims against members of Congress, I can neither confirm nor deny that settlement involved my office as the Congressional Accountability Act prohibits me from answering that question,” he said.
Three members of Congress this week said they would step down in response to sexual harassment allegations. Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) announced his retirement on Tuesday. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said Thursday that he would resign in the coming weeks. Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) said he’d resign next year.
Roy Moore, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate for Alabama, refuses to bow out of next week’s election, despite allegations he assaulted and harassed teenage girls when he was in his 30s.