Yet another Democratic representative is facing calls for his resignation. Nevada Representative Ruben Kihuen is facing two accusations of sexual misconduct, reported the Denver Post.
The first report came two weeks ago when a former staffer said he harassed her during his 2016 congressional campaign. This week, fresh accusations came out. A lobbyist said Kihuen touched her inappropriately and made repeated sexual advances during his 2015 legislative session.
The allegations against Kihuen come at a time when Congress is increasingly intolerant of the mistreatment of women. He's facing pressure from his fellow Democrats to step aside.
The Nevada lawmaker's office issued a statement on Thursday, denying the accusations. The lawmaker said he wouldn’t discuss the details of the relationships he’s had with women while in elected office.
“During my 10 years in the legislature, I dated several different women. Out of respect for their privacy, I won’t discuss my communications or any other details of those relationships,” the statement read.
However, sexual harassment and misconduct allegations have become a part of the day-to-day, and lawmakers seem more inclined to call for a resignation than to defend the accused party.
On Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Kihuen should step down. She echoed her previous statement, released the day after the first account of sexual harassment was made public.
“I’ve asked him to resign from the start,” Pelosi told reporters. She initially wrote that “the young woman’s documented account is convincing, and I commend her for the courage it took to come forward. In light of these upsetting allegations, Congressman Kihuen should resign.”
Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, a Democrat from New Mexico and the chairman of the House Democrats’ campaign arm, has also called for Kihuen to step down.
Last week, three lawmakers announced their departures from the Senate or the House based on accusations of inappropriate behavior. Those included Rep. John Conyers, a Democrat from Michigan, Rep. Trent Franks, a Republican from Arizona, and Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota. Each had faced an ethics investigation if they did not resign.
On Thursday, Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold, who settled an $84,000 sexual harassment lawsuit with his former communications director in 2015, said he will not run for re-election. He was facing an Ethics Committee review.
Politico reported that The House Ethics Committee has launched an investigation into Rep. Ruben Kihuen.