- The Washington Times - Friday, December 15, 2017

The House Ethics Committee announced Friday a probe of sexual harassment accusations against Rep. Ruben Kihuen, who has been under increasing pressure to resign because of the claims.

Two women have come forward with allegations that Mr. Kihuen, Nevada Democrat, made inappropriate sexual advances on them, including sending provocative Facebook messages and hundreds of text messages.

One of the women, a lobbyist, told the Nevada Independent that Mr. Kihuen touched her thighs or buttocks on three separate occasions when he was a state senator.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, and other party leaders have called on Mr. Kihuen to resign.

The Ethics Committee stressed in the statement that the initiation of an investigation did not indicate wrongdoing by Mr. Kihuen.

Still, he is the latest lawmaker caught up in the backlash against sexual harassment that began with the Harvey Weinstein scandal and spread through Hollywood, journalism and Capitol Hill.

Rep. Blake Farenthold, Texas Republican, announced Thursday that he would not seek re-election after he came under an ethics investigation. He had settled a sexual harassment claim with a former staffer for $84,000 and other aides accused him of creating a hostile workplace environment.

Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota and Rep. John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, both Democrats, announced their resignations in recent weeks after being accused of sexual harassment, as did Rep. Trent Franks, Arizona Republican.

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