Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) left Congress abruptly today, several months after announcing he would depart when his term ended in January 2019. His original decision to not seek reelection came amid reports of improper behavior and employee harassment.
U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, who previously announced that he would not seek re-election after sexual harassment allegations surfaced, now says he has resigned. – @NBCNews— Breaking News (@BreakingNews) April 6, 2018
In December, it was revealed he settled a complaint with a former communications director, using $84,00 worth of taxpayer money but denying any wrongdoing.
In another story from another communications director about Farenthold’s behavior, the Texas representative 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.
Farenthold becomes now the fourth member of Congress to depart 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.