The House Ethics Committee is expanding its investigation of Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, who already was under scrutiny over allegations of sexual misconduct.
The panel announced Thursday a unanimous decision to expand the jurisdiction of the Investigative Subcommittee to also investigate “allegations that Representative Farenthold’s congressional staff may have House resources, including staff time, to benefit his congressional campaigns,” and allegations that Farenthold, or someone acting on his behalf, “may have required members of his congressional staff to work on his congressional campaigns.”
The group will also examine “allegations that Representative Farenthold may have made false statements or omissions in his testimony to the Committee.”
“The Committee notes that the mere fact of an investigation into these allegations does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred,” the committee said in a statement.
The panel's subcommittee launched their investigation on Dec. 7 following allegations of sexual harassment from a former female employee, who received an $84,000 payout over her claim. Then, an ex-senior aide Farenthold contacted the House Ethics Committee, accusing the Farenthold of promoting a hostile work environment and for making sexually graphic comments.
Several other members of Congress, including Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., have recently resigned from their posts due to allegations of sexual misconduct.
Farenthold will not seek re-election next year.