Two of his former aides, Lauren Greene and Michael Rekola, have spoken publicly, alleging that Farenthold engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior. I had no idea how to run a congressional office. While Farenthold couldn't survive the onslaught, a first-term Nevada Democrat continued to resist calls to step aside. On Wednesday, CNN published detailed accusations by a former spokesman who said Farenthold made sexually graphic jokes and was verbally abusive to staffers.
"Once all the facts are released, I'm confident this matter will once and for all be settled and resolved", he said at the time. "Out of respect for their privacy, I won't discuss my communications or any other details of those relationships", he said.
Farenthold's decision comes as congressional leaders have shown little desire for lawmakers facing credible harassment allegations to remain in Congress as 2018 elections roll into view.
In the federal court filing back then, Greene said the congressman said he had "sexual fantasies" and "wet dreams" about her. Greene claimed Farenthold "regularly drank to excess" and told her in February 2014 that he was "estranged from his wife and had not had sex with her in years". Though Farenthold said he'd reimburse the Treasury Department, such payments have drawn public criticism from people saying lawmakers should use their own money for such settlements. Al Franken, D-Minn., has said he will resign after charges that he inappropriately touched several women, and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., resigned after harassment allegations. Franks stepped down after Ryan urged him to quit. He denied making the sexual comments about Rekola's fiancée. On Thursday, Republican Susan Collins of ME and Democrat Patty Murray of Washington said in a letter to the all-male leadership of the Senate and its powerful Appropriations Committee that aides who complain about sexual harassment shouldn't have to endure "cooling off" periods and mediation.
Collins and Murray added that staffers who experience harassment should also have access to "independent confidential resources" to assist them through the complaint process.