Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold (Texas) will not run for reelection in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse of his staff, according to a new report.
ABC News affiliate Crossroads Today reported Thursday that Farenthold, who has served in Congress since 2011, will not resign and will finish out his term, which ends in January 2019.
Washington Examiner reporter David Drucker tweeted he was retiring under pressure from House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), who spoke to him Wednesday and wanted him to resign.
— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) December 14, 2017
Farenthold is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for sexual harassment allegations made by former aide Lauren Greene. Greene sued him and Farenthold settled the suit in 2015 for $84,000 in taxpayer money. Farenthold said he will repay the settlement, according to The Hill.
CNN reported Wednesday on a fresh wave of allegations the used sexually charged and abusive language toward his staff, such as joking within earshot of others about his communications director's sex life with his fiancee.
He denied that report but did admit to referring to his team members as "f*cktards," although he said it was said in jest.
The Texas representative is yet another legislator embroiled in a harassment scandal in 2017, with Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) and Rep. John Conyers (D., Mich.) also announcing they were stepping down over the past month for misconduct.
Farenthold told constituents via Skype this week that "I absolutely did not engage in any improper conduct."