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House Ethics Committee Investigating Nevada Rep. Kihuen Over Sexual Harassment Claims

"During my 10 years in the legislature, I dated several different women," Rep. Ruben Kihuen said in a statement

Senate Dems
AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File

The House Ethics Committee said Friday that it has opened an investigation into Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen after reports of sexual harassment against the Nevada congressman. 

"The Committee notes that the mere fact that it is investigating these allegations, and publically disclosing its review, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee," a statement from the committee said.

Two women have accused the Democrat of misconduct. His former finance director told Buzzfeed in a Dec. 2 story that Kihuen repeatedly propositioned her for dates and sex during the 2016 congressional campaign, offers she rejected. The woman, who withheld her last name, also claimed he touched her thighs without her consent on two occasions.

A second woman spoke to The Nevada Independent in a Dec. 13 story, claiming Kihuen made repeated sexual advances while he was a state senator in 2015 and she was a lobbyist. The woman, who remained anonymous, also said he touched her thighs and buttocks on several occasions.

In a statement to the Independent, Kihuen said he would not discuss the allegations.

"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 said.

In a statement to NBC, Kihuen said, "I intend to fully cooperate, and I welcome an opportunity to clear my name."

Both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, called for Kihuen's resignation.

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