House Ethics Committee Opens Investigation Into Democratic Rep Kihuen

Rep. Ruben Kihuen / Getty Images

The House Ethics Committee announced Friday that it is opening an investigation into Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen (Nev.), who multiple women have accused of sexual harassment.

"The committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Ruben Kihuen may have engaged in sexual harassment," the Ethics Committee's chairwoman and ranking member, Reps. Susan Brooks (R., Ind.) and Ted Deutch (D., Fla.), respectively, said in a statement. "The committee, pursuant to committee rule 18(a), has begun an investigation and will gather additional information regarding the allegations."

"The committee notes that the mere fact that it is investigating these allegations, and publicly disclosing its review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the committee," the statement continued.

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A former Kihuen campaign staffer told BuzzFeed earlier this month that the politician sexually harassed her during his 2016 congressional campaign. The Nevada Independent then reported Wednesday that a second woman said that Kihuan sexually harassed her when he was a state senator and she worked as a lobbyist.

Democratic leadership called for the freshman congressman's resignation following the first accusation.

"In light of these upsetting allegations, Congressman Kihuen should resign," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said at the time.

Nevertheless, Kihuen has refused to step down.

"As I've said previously, I intend to fully cooperate, and I welcome an opportunity to clear my name," he said following the news of the ethics investigation.