Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) announced that he will leave Congress after his term ends in January 2019, amid reports of improper behavior and sexual harassment.
Farenthold was under fire after it was revealed he settled a complaint with a former communications director, using $84,00 worth of taxpayer money but denying any wrongdoing.
This morning, a story from another communications director about Farenthold’s behavior broke on CNN, in which Farenthold was revealed to be emotionally abusive toward aides.
One comment from the congressman was especially personal. Rekola was about to leave town to get married in July 2015, when, he said, Farenthold, standing within earshot of other staffers in his Capitol Hill office, said to the groom-to-be: “Better have your fiancée blow you before she walks down the aisle—it will be the last time.” He then proceeded to joke about whether Rekola’s now-wife could wear white on her wedding day—a clear reference, Rekola said, to whether she had had premarital sex.
According to Politico, Farenthold was pressured to resign by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.).
Farenthold is now the fourth member of Congress to depart in the past several weeks as conversations and reports of sexual harassment and assault have grown into a nationwide movement. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) all left Congress over reports of sexual harassment and assault.