UPDATE: 2nd woman accuses Ruben Kihuen of sexual misconduct

Kihuen says he is not stepping down

UPDATE DEC. 14: A second woman has accused Nevada Congressman Ruben Kihuen of sexual misconduct, according to The Nevada Independent.

The female lobbyist is accusing Kihuen of touching her inappropriately on 3 occasions and says he sent her suggestive text messages, including asking her what color of panties she was wearing and suggesting that she sit on his lap in the middle of a committee hearing. 

In addition, she says that Kihuen sent her dozens of Facebook messages during the 2013 legislative session.

The woman, who represented client with bills in front of Kihuen, says she didn't tell anyone at the time. However, she kept the phone that she received the messages on as proof. She told The Nevada Independent that she thinks that Kihuen doesn't think that he did anything wrong and that he was just playing around. 

In a statement, Kihuen said "During my ten 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 lobbyist told the Nevada Independent she never dated Kihuen.

House Minority Leader repeated to reporters Thursday her stance that she believes Kihuen should resign.

Fellow Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus hasn't called for resignation, but she said in a statement Thursday, "Ruben would not be able to work in my office where we have a zero-tolerance policy on sexual harassment. As country singer Lorrie Morgan said, 'What part of no don't you understand?'"

Kihuen has said he would welcome an ethics committee investigation.

If he were found to have committed violations, he could be formally reprimanded and/or fined. To be expelled from Congress would take a 2/3 vote from the House, something that's rarely happened in history.

UPDATE DEC. 6: Ruben Kihuen says that leaders of his party knew about the allegations before last week. However, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is insisting she did not. Kihuen still says that he will not resign. 

2ND UPDATE FOR DEC. 5: Gov. Brian Sandoval commented today on the situation with Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen, who has been accused to harassing a woman on his campaign in 2016. Sandoval said that if the allegations are true, Kihuen probably should step down. 

UPDATE DEC. 5: Politico is reporting that Rep. Ruben Kihuen's chief of staff is trying to find jobs for several staff members.

Politico says that Peter Kotak sent an email containing resumes to other Democratic offices on Tuesday morning. Politico says it reached out for comment but has not heard from Kihuen's office.

Kiheun has said that he has no plans to step down. Two Democratic aides told Politico that it is not unusual for staff members to start looking for jobs when there is a scandal. 

ORIGINAL STORY

Buzzfeed is reporting that a woman says she was harassed by Nevada Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen.

The woman, whose first name is Samantha, says that she was Kihuen's finance director during his 2016 congressional campaign.

She claims that Kihuen would ask her out on dates and ask her for sex despite her repeated objections. She also says that he touched her thighs twice without her consent.

Samantha, who was 25 at the time, says that she quit her job because she did not know what to do. But before she quit, she told a contact at the Democratic Congressional Campain Committee why. The person confirmed the conversation.

In addition, another DCCC person called Kiheun's campaign manager and told him why Samantha quit. The campaign manager confirmed to Buzzfeed that he received a call saying that the woman left because she felt "uncomfortable" around Kihuen.

Kihuen told Buzzfeed that he apologizes for anything that he may have said or done that made her feel uncomfortable. Kihuen is now 37 years old and is unmarried. 

The DCCC is now calling on Kihuen to resign from Congress.

Kihuen is not the only Nevada politician to face recent accusations.

State Sen. Manendo, also a Democrat, resigned earlier this year because of sexual harassment allegations. An investigation found that he had engaged in multiple and repeated instances of inappropriate, offensive and unacceptable behavior toward female staffers and lobbyists. 

Kiheun has issued the following statement:

The staff member in question was a valued member of my team. I sincerely apologize for anything that I may have said or done that made her feel uncomfortable. I take this matter seriously as it is not indicative of who I am, but I want to make it clear that I don’t recall any of the circumstances she described. I was raised in a strong family that taught me to treat women with the utmost dignity and respect. I have spent my fifteen years in public service fighting for women’s equality, and I will continue to do so.

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