The House Ethics Committee announced Thursday that it voted to establish an investigative subcommittee to examine whether Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, sexually harassed a former staff member, discriminated against her, or retaliated against her after she complained about his conduct.
The decision was made after reports that taxpayers doled out $84,000 to settle a harassment claim against Farenthold by his accuser.
Farenthold said he would reimburse the government for that payment. "I'm going to hand a check over this week to Speaker Ryan or somebody," he said.
The Ethics Committee nonetheless will examine the issue further, after having already looked at it in 2015. That effort ceased when Farenthold and his former aide reached a confidential settlement.
But the committee also said it was having difficulties with the investigation two years ago.
"Although Representative Farenthold has cooperated with the Committee's investigation to date, the resolution of this matter has been significantly delayed by difficulties in obtaining live testimony from key witnesses other than Representative Farenthold and in accessing confidential documents the parties to the federal litigation exchanged in discovery," the committee said.