Susan W Brooks

Opinion: The Real Year of the Woman
Female lawmakers are playing outsize role in sexual harassment debate

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., resigned after he reportedly suggested that a female staffer carry his child for $5 million and then retaliated against her when she balked. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It takes a special kind of depravity for a congressman to suggest to a female staffer that she carry his child for $5 million and then retaliate against her when she declines the offer, as former Rep. Trent Franks reportedly did last year.

Nobody is winning a profile in courage award for asking female staff members to cuddle with him in his apartment and then firing them after they refuse, as former Rep. John Conyers Jr. was accused of doing before he resigned in disgrace. And you’d think that voters would somehow weed out a senator who apparently had a groping habit before he was ever in politics, but former Sen. Al Franken proved that conventional wisdom wrong.

Ethics Committee Closes Book on Devin Nunes
Panel clears Intelligence Committee chairman of claims of unauthorized disclosures

The House Ethics Committee has cleared House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., of charges of unauthorized disclosures of classified information. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee on Thursday announced it has closed an investigation into Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, clearing him of claims that he made unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

“The committee does not determine whether information is or is not classified ... [so it] sought the analysis of Representative Nunes’s statements by classification experts in the intelligence community,” Ethics Chairwoman Susan W. Brooks and ranking member Ted Deutch said in a statement. “Based solely on the conclusion of these classification experts that the information that Rep. Nunes disclosed was not classified, the committee will take no further action and consider this matter closed.”

Ethics Committee Expands Investigation Into Farenthold
Texas Republican accused of sexual harassment, retaliation

Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold is facing an inquiry by the House Ethics Investigative Subcommittee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics committee announced Thursday it unanimously voted to establish a subcommittee to build on its investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold.

So far, the panel has reviewed more than 200,000 pages and interviewed multiple witnesses, according to a statement released by Ethics Chairwoman Susan W. Brooks of Indiana and ranking member Ted Deutch of Florida. 

Want to Know Who Else Has Been Accused of Sexual Harassment in Congress? Good Luck
Congressional offices can’t release basic details of complaints — even to lawmakers

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock says Congress must “fundamentally change” how sexual harassment complaints are handled. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The details of sexual harassment complaints against members of Congress and their staffs are secret and cannot be released to lawmakers seeking to determine the extent of the problem on Capitol Hill, a congressional official testified Thursday. 

“The law doesn’t allow us to release anything,” said Susan Tsui Grundmann, the executive director of the Office of Compliance, which oversees the response to sexual harassment complaints in Congress. She told a hearing of the House Administrative Committee that if lawmakers want to know more — including the number of complaints filed and the names of the accused — they will have to change the law. 

Ethics Committee Asks for List of All Accused Members and Staff
Investigations into sexual harassment continue on Capitol Hill

Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., chairwoman of the House Ethics Committee requested the Office of Compliance deliver the names of members and staff who have had claims of sexual harassment against them. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee is demanding the Office of Compliance deliver the names of all current members and staff who have had claims against them.

Chairwoman Rep. Susan Brooks and ranking member Rep. Ted Deutch sent a letter to the office as sexual harassment continues to be investigated in the committee.

Why Did an Indiana Super PAC Endorse Alabama’s Roy Moore?
Locally, Indiana First PAC endorsed Jim Banks, plans to play in open 4th and 6th Districts

Indiana First PAC has endorsed Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, above, but has no plans to play in Indiana’s Senate primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Indiana First PAC earned attention this week for endorsing Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.

But what is an Indiana-based super PAC — which has yet to file with the Federal Election Commission — doing in another state’s Senate race when it doesn’t even plan to play in its own?

Susan Brooks Chooses Sides in Indiana Senate Primary
GOP congresswoman endorses Luke Messer, will chair “Women for Luke”

Indiana Rep. Susan W. Brooks is the first member of the Hoosier delegation to publicly choose sides in the Senate GOP primary battle between Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Indiana Rep. Susan W. Brooks endorsed fellow Hoosier Rep. Luke Messer’s Senate bid Wednesday. She’s the first member of the delegation to publicly choose sides in what’s already become a nasty member-on-member primary war between Messer and Rep. Todd Rokita as the GOP tries to unseat the Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly.

“Luke and I have been friends for a long time, and being his colleague and watching him work up close, I have no doubt he'll make a great U.S. Senator,” Brooks said in a statement.

Word on the Hill: Franken’s ‘SNL’ Friends on Franken vs. Trump
Stabenow makes rounds, Cruz award, Johnson shows flexibility, Biden’s book and Scalia event

Dana Carvey, left, Kevin Nealon, second from left, and Sen. Al Franken, right, mock the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings (with Phil Hartman, center, and Chris Farley) on “Saturday Night Live” in 1991. (NBC Universal)

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., could give President Donald Trump a run for his money. Or at least fellow “Saturday Night Live” alums Kevin Nealon and Dana Carvey think so.

“Will Al Franken run for president?” Nealon asks Carvey on his Twitter video series “Hiking With Kevin.”

Word on the Hill: Murphy Walks Again
Updates from the OOC, LOC and Historical Society

Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy is taking questions as he walks across the Nutmeg State. (Courtesy Murphy via Snapchat)

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., is making his way across the Nutmeg State on foot … again.

Today is Day Three of the walk. On Monday, he walked from Willimantic to Portland, where he held an evening town hall.

Word on the Hill: Embassy Chef Competition
Wreath-laying for women in the military

Belgium is one of the countries represented in the Embassy Chef Challenge this evening. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Decide for yourself which embassy has the best cuisine.

Thirty-nine chefs from countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas are competing in Events DC’s Embassy Chef Challenge at 6 p.m. today. Last year’s winner was the chef from the Embassy of the Philippines, and in 2015, the Embassy of Barbados took home the trophy.