Longtime Tea Party member and former Texas Congressman Blake Farenthold is blaming the #MeToo Movement for his resignation from Congress and the financial trouble he’s currently facing.
Farenthold resigned from Congress back in April after allegations of several instances of sexual misconduct by his former Communications Director Lauren Greene surfaced. The allegations triggered an investigation by the Ethics committee.
News first broke in December that the Republican reached a settlement for $84,000 with Greene. Greene accused the former Congressman of several instances of sexual harassment, including, telling her that he had sexual fantasies about her. Now Farenthold is saying that his own conduct is not to blame for his exit from Capitol Hill. He is also refusing to pay the $84k.
The transcript from a Court deposition that was made public on Sunday revealed why Farenthold blames the Me Too Movement for his downfall.
The deposition was a result of a lawsuit filed by the Victoria Advocate over Farenthold’s hiring by Calhoun Port Authority in Lavaca, TX. The lawsuit accuses the municipal government of breaking Texas state law by not soliciting public comment before hiring Farenthold. The Port authority denies any wrongdoing.
“I believe the public attention to the “Me Too” movement created a political environment where it would be much more difficult for the members of the Ethics Committee to separate politics from the facts,” said Farenthold. He went on to claim that the Committee “was under political pressure to find a scapegoat.”
During the deposition, the former Congressman was also asked about a text message he sent to a friend. In the message, Farenthold says, “ the f tards won.” When asked to clarify what f tard meant he replied, “A-S-S.”
Farenthold is now claiming that it would be illegal for him to repay the $84,000 he owes. He told an attorney from the Victoria Advocate, “I can’t legally repay the government to do that. I have been advised by multiple attorneys I cannot do that, even if I wanted to.”
Farenthold did not explain which law prohibits him from repaying the money. According to a top aide for a Republican lawmaker, Farenthold’s claim is false.