US Rep. Blake Farenthold has written to the House Ethics Committee to offer “full cooperation” and help clear the air before the panel begins its investigation on the GOP lawmaker.
The committee announced Friday that it would open an investigation into Farenthold after a report from Politico said the Texas Republican had referred an anonymous tip to a Republican staff aide, asking for references and advice on renting a condo after a female staffer went on a company trip.
Farenthold, in his statement, asked the committee “to close its initial inquiry before going any further.”
“In a carefully worded and careful response to the allegations of inappropriate conduct, I offered full cooperation to the House Ethics Committee in its inquiry,” Farenthold wrote. “I agreed to a meeting to discuss the issues raised about me. I came to the meeting prepared to address all matters fully. I subsequently realized that because the interview was being conducted behind closed doors, it did not reflect the fact that it was public information, and I no longer wished to take the time to speak in private.”
According to the Politico report, Farenthold went to a male staffer for GOP Sen. Ted Cruz with the question, “If a woman comes to you at a party about rent, would you tell her to get a roommate?” After being offered a condo by the friend, who is not identified, Farenthold said in a statement he asked the staffer, “Would you refer that person to me?”
Farenthold left the GOP committee in September over the controversy, and since then he has been in dispute with the FEC about a $74,000 spending error that he says is not his fault.