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Thursday, Dec 14th

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Lawmaker behind secret $84K sexual harassment settlement unmasked

Rep. Blake Farenthold behind secret sexual harassment payout

Rep. Blake Farenthold used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment claim brought by his former spokesman — the only known sitting member of Congress to have used a little-known congressional account to pay an accuser, people familiar with the matter told POLITICO.

Lauren Greene, the Texas Republican’s former communications director, sued her boss in December 2014 over allegations of gender discrimination, sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment.

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US Rep. Conyers in hospital as ex-aide describes harassment

Jphn Conyers hospitalized amid charges of sexual harassmentMichigan Rep. John Conyers was hospitalized in Detroit on Thursday as a former aide publicly accused him of sexual harassment, telling NBC's "Today" show that she was fired for rejecting advances from the longest-serving member of the U.S. House.

Marion Brown, 61, said the Democratic congressman propositioned her for sex multiple times over more than a decade. She said she stayed on the job because she needed to support her family and found the work rewarding.

"It was sexual harassment ... violating my body," she said. "Propositioning me. Inviting me to hotels with the guise of discussing business and then propositioning me ... for sex."

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'Ashamed' Franken says he won't quit Senate over groping accusations

Al Franken will not step down from Senate seatU.S. Senator Al Franken, trying to salvage his political career, said on Sunday he does not plan to resign but called himself “embarrassed and ashamed” by his behavior toward women who have accused him of groping or inappropriately touching them.

Franken, a Democrat and former comedian who has represented Minnesota in the Senate since 2009, said in a round of media interviews -- his first since the allegations surfaced on Nov. 16 -- that he looked forward to returning to his job on Monday.

“I‘m embarrassed and ashamed. I’ve let a lot of people down and I‘m hoping I can make it up to them and gradually regain their trust,” Franken told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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Rep. John Conyers stepping down from top Judiciary Committee post as ethics probe continues

Conyers steps down from Judiciary postRep. John Conyers is stepping down from his top spot on the House Judiciary Committee as a congressional ethics panel probes sexual harassment allegations against the Michigan Democrat.

Conyers again denied the harassment allegations in a statement released Sunday but said he has requested to step down as the Judiciary Committee's ranking member.

"To be clear, I would like very much to remain as ranking member," he said in a statement. "There is still much work to be done on core concerns like securing civil rights, enacting meaningful criminal justice reforms, and protecting access to the ballot box. ... But I have come to believe that my presence as ranking member on the committee would not serve these efforts while the ethics committee investigation is pending."

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U.S. Senate candidate Moore's spokesman resigns as allegations roil campaign

Roy Moore: Communications director leaves campaignThe communications director for U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore has resigned amid the Alabama Republican’s efforts to combat allegations of sexual misconduct that have roiled his campaign.

News of the departure of John Rogers came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump defended Moore from accusations by multiple women that Moore pursued them as teenagers when he was in his 30s, including one who has said he initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14.

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Michigan Rep. Conyers denies sexual harassment settlements

Rep. John Conyers denies harassment pay offLongtime Michigan Rep. John Conyers on Tuesday denied settling a complaint in 2015 from a woman who alleged she was fired from his Washington staff because she rejected his sexual advances.

The website BuzzFeed News reported on Monday that the office of Conyers, 88, paid the woman over $27,000 to settle the complaint under a confidentiality agreement.

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2nd woman accuses Sen. Al Franken of improper conduct

2nd woman accuses FrankenA second woman has accused Minnesota Sen. Al Franken of improper conduct, saying he put his hand on her bottom as they posed for a picture at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010 — after he had begun his career in the Senate.

Lindsay Menz told CNN last week for a report broadcast Monday that the interaction made her feel "gross." She said she immediately told her husband that Franken had "grabbed" her bottom, and she said she posted about it on Facebook.

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