Fueled by rage and a surge of women naming those they say sexually harassed or assaulted them, the #MeToo movement has brought the swift downfall of many powerful federal officials over the past year. Among those dispatched: One senator, eight House members and three congressional candidates. One federal judge. Two White House aides. A few others have survived, most prominently President Trump, who has been accused by at least 19 women of sexual misconduct and abuse over decades. Almost all those accused have denied the allegations.

Now a new and prominent name has joined the list of accused: Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh. A California psychologist alleges that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when both of them were teens, a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Yale alleges he exposed himself to her at a party freshman year, and a Washington, D.C., woman alleges that Kavanaugh was physically abusive to girls and was present at a house party where she says she was raped by more than one boy. He has denied all of the accusations. Their accounts are throwing a confirmation that seemed secure into chaos several weeks before the midterm elections — and testing how well those who wield power in Washington understand what has changed.

For 19 people, the accusations upended their careers.

They either resigned, said they would not run for reelection or withdrew from races. A few abjectly apologized, and some expressed bewilderment; one candidate said he was “frankly oblivious” about how his jokes affected others. But the majority were defiant, either accusing women of lying or, in one case, suing them for defamation. Two chiefs of staff were accused of misconduct, and the Congresswomen they worked for were accused of tolerating it.

Tim Murphy

U.S. representative (R-Pa.)

Resigned

Tim Murphy

U.S. representative (R-Pa.)

Resigned

In October 2017, news organizations reported that Murphy asked a woman with whom he had an extramarital affair to get an abortion and was abusive to his staff. He said the next day he would not seek reelection and abruptly resigned a day later.

Joe Barton

U.S. representative (R-Tex.)

Not seeking reelection

Joe Barton

U.S. representative (R-Tex.)

Not seeking reelection

In November, Barton was heard on tape telling a woman to whom he sent sexually explicit photos that he would report her to the Capitol Police if she circulated "inappropriate photographs and videos" of him "in a way that would negatively affect my career." About a week after the woman came forward, Barton announced he would not seek reelection in 2018.

Dwayne Duron Marshall

Former chief of staff to
Brenda Lawrence
U.S. representative (D-Mich.)

Resigned / Still in office

Dwayne Duron Marshall

Former chief of staff to
Brenda Lawrence
U.S. representative (D-Mich.)

Resigned / Still in office

In November, Politico reported that Lawrence, a leading voice on sexual harassment legislation, had kept Marshall on her payroll despite several complaints from former aides about his behavior. The women said they thought they had made it clear to Lawrence that they did not feel comfortable around Marshall. One said she cited “inappropriate” comments and physical contact. “Had I been made aware of any concerns about sexual harassment in my office, those concerns would have been promptly investigated and appropriate disciplinary action taken," Lawrence said in a statement. After the Politico story published, Marshall issued a statement denying the allegations and said he would continue working for Lawrence, noting her work on anti-sexual-harassment legislation. Lawrence placed Marshall on leave after the allegations were made public; he later resigned. An investigation, Lawrence said in March, found no reports of sexual harassment in her office.

Roy Moore

Republican Senate candidate in Alabama

Lost race

Roy Moore

Republican Senate candidate in Alabama

Lost race

Four women accused Moore, the former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, of initiating relationships with them while they were teenagers and he was in his 30s. Five other women alleged that he made unwanted sexual advances. Moore denied the allegations and did not drop out of the race but was defeated by Democrat Doug Jones in the special election. He has sued some of the women for defamation.

Al Franken

Former senator (D-Minn.)

Resigned

Al Franken

Former senator (D-Minn.)

Resigned

In a November blog post, Leeann Tweeden alleged that Franken groped her and kissed her without her consent in 2006. Tweeden also released a photo that appears to show Franken groping her while she was asleep. Seven other women later made similar allegations against Franken. In announcing his resignation in December, he said some allegations were false, some he remembered differently and that he was confident he had done "nothing" to dishonor the Senate.

John Conyers Jr.

Former U.S. representative (D-Mich.)

Resigned

John Conyers Jr.

Former U.S. representative (D-Mich.)

Resigned

Six women accused Conyers of unwanted advances and inappropriate behavior in news accounts in late November. Conyers reached a $27,000 sexual harassment settlement with Marion Brown, which BuzzFeed News reported in late November was paid by putting her on the payroll, prompting a House Ethics Committee investigation. Conyers, who was the longest-serving member of Congress, announced his resignation in early December.

Blake Farenthold

Former U.S. representative (R-Tex.)

Resigned

Blake Farenthold

Former U.S. representative (R-Tex.)

Resigned

In November, it came to light that Farenthold used a designated Treasury Department fund to pay his former communications director, Lauren Greene, an $84,000 settlement. Greene alleged in a 2014 lawsuit that Farenthold had discussed having sexual fantasies and “wet dreams” about her and that he had fired her after she complained about his behavior. Farenthold said he did not believe he had done anything wrong, but in December announced he would not seek reelection and abruptly resigned in April.

Ruben Kihuen

U.S. representative (D-Nev.)

Not seeking reelection

Ruben Kihuen

U.S. representative (D-Nev.)

Not seeking reelection

A then-25-year-old campaign staffer said she quit after he repeatedly harassed and made sexual advances toward her. The woman, who worked as the finance director for Kihuen's 2016 campaign, said he propositioned her for sex and touched her inappropriately. Kihuen said he didn't “recall any of the circumstances" and apologized for anything he may have said or done to make her feel uncomfortable. Nearly two weeks after Buzzfeed reported the allegations in early December, and other women came forward with similar complaints, the House Ethics Committee said it had launched an investigation. Kihuen announced he would not seek reelection in 2018.

Trent Franks

Former U.S. representative (R-Ariz.)

Resigned

Trent Franks

Former U.S. representative (R-Ariz.)

Resigned

Franks resigned in early December after House officials learned that he had asked two female employees to bear his child as a surrogate. His resignation came as the House Ethics Committee said it would create a special subcommittee to investigate Franks for conduct "that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment." He said he would not be able to complete a fair probe before “distorted and sensationalized versions” of his story would put all concerned “through hyperbolized public excoriation.”

Alex Kozinski

Former judge on U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

Retired

Alex Kozinski

Former judge on U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

Retired

Six women, all former clerks or junior staffers, told the Washington Post that Kozinski over a period of years subjected them to a range of inappropriate sexual conduct or comments, including asking them to look at pornography in his chambers. Kozinski said he would never “intentionally do anything to offend anyone.” He retired 10 days after The Post published the allegations in early December. Kavanaugh said during his confirmation hearing that he never heard such stories about Kozinski, who became a friend and mentor to him after his clerkship.

Andrea Ramsey

Democratic congressional candidate in Kansas

Suspended campaign

Andrea Ramsey

Democratic congressional candidate in Kansas

Suspended campaign

In 2005, a former employee alleged that Ramsey fired him from his job at LabOne after he rebuffed her sexual advances. After the allegations resurfaced, Ramsey, who was the vice president at LabOne at the time, suspended her campaign. Ramsey called the allegation "a lie" and, in a letter on Facebook, defended herself and blamed her decision to suspend her campaign on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's lack of support, saying they had implemented a "zero tolerance standard" around harassment.

Daylin Leach

Democratic congressional candidate in Pennsylvania

Suspended campaign

Daylin Leach

Democratic congressional candidate in Pennsylvania

Suspended campaign

In December, former campaign and staff workers for the state senator accused him of sexually suggestive jokes and unwanted touching. Leach denied any wrongdoing and said the suggestive comments were in jest. He blamed the stories on an unnamed political opponent, and he suspended his congressional campaign a day later. He remains a state senator.

Patrick Meehan

Former U.S. representative (R-Pa.)

Resigned

Patrick Meehan

Former U.S. representative (R-Pa.)

Resigned

Meehan used taxpayer dollars to settle a sexual-harassment claim a former aide had filed against him. He said he considered the decades-younger staffer his "soul mate" and denied the harassment. He acknowledged lashing out when he learned she had started seriously dating someone, attributing his reaction to the stress of a debate over repealing the Affordable Care Act. In January, five days after the settlement was reported, Meehan announced he would not run again. In April, amid a House Ethics Committee investigation, he resigned.

Dave Sorensen

White House speechwriter

Resigned

Dave Sorensen

White House speechwriter

Resigned

Sorensen's ex-wife accused him of domestic abuse in February, saying he was violent and emotionally abusive. Sorensen denies the claims but resigned when confronted with them because he “didn’t want the White House to have to deal with this distraction.”

Rob Porter

White House staff secretary

Resigned

Rob Porter

White House staff secretary

Resigned

Two ex-wives accused Porter, the Oval Office gatekeeper, of physical and emotional abuse; one presented a photo of her blackened eye. Porter said, "These outrageous allegations are simply false" and resigned the next day.

Tony Baker

Former chief of staff to
Elizabeth Esty
U.S.representative (D-Conn.)

Resigned / Not seeking reelection

Tony Baker

Former chief of staff to
Elizabeth Esty
U.S.representative (D-Conn.)

Resigned / Not seeking reelection

Multiple news outlets accused Esty of not firing her chief of staff for three months after sexual abuse allegations surfaced against him from female staffers in 2016. The female staff members claimed they experienced "violence, death threats and sexual harassment" from Baker. Baker and Esty negotiated a formal separation agreement that included a nondisclosure agreement and a promise that she would recommend him for jobs outside Washington. When the allegations came to light in March, Esty dismissed calls to resign, but announced within days that she would not seek reelection.

Tony Tooke

U.S. Forest Service chief

Resigned

Tony Tooke

U.S. Forest Service chief

Resigned

Tooke resigned in March amid reports of an investigation into a claim that he had created a staff position for a woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair when he worked at an office in Florida. The accusation against a top official came as the agency was investigating dozens of harassment claims, particularly from women in its firefighting division. In an email to Forest Service staff, Tooke said, “I have been forthright during the review, but I cannot combat every inaccuracy that is reported in the news media.”

Corey Coleman

FEMA personnel chief

Resigned

Corey Coleman

FEMA personnel chief

Resigned

The summary of a Federal Emergency Management Agency investigation said that Coleman had sex with two subordinates, including one who said she was denied a promotion when she refused his advances and another who held a specially created position paid for by a fund reserved for disaster relief. Employees told investigators he would sometimes transfer female employees in hopes his friends could try to have sexual relationships with them. His lawyers have denied the allegations. Coleman resigned from FEMA in June 2018.

Eight people remain in their jobs

For a variety of reasons, these men (and Rep. Brenda Lawrence, mentioned above), have escaped the political pressure or professional censure that led to job loss.

Donald Trump

President

Donald Trump

President

At least 19 women have accused Trump of sexual harassment and abuse dating to 1980, from groping in nightbclubs and on planes to forcing himself on them in Trump Tower. Many came forward after a "Hollywood Access" tape leaked in October 2016, on which Trump is heard saying he felt entitled to "grab them by the pussy." Trump has said his comments were "locker-room talk" and has denied the allegations. In January 2017, former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos sued the president for defamation for saying she and all the other women had lied about the sexual harassment.

Robert C. "Bobby" Scott

U.S. representative (D-Va.)

Robert C. "Bobby" Scott

U.S. representative (D-Va.)

In December, Reese Everson, a former fellow for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, held a news conference to claim that Scott touched her inappropriately, propositioned her and then terminated her after she declined his advances. In a statement, Scott said the allegation was false and said Everson was “backed by a Republican operative known for dabbling in outlandish conspiracy theories.” Everson worked for the congressman for several months in 2012 and 2013, left with a positive letter of recommendation and took a position with the House Financial Services Committee. She was let go after she “failed to adhere” to a performance improvement plan, according to a letter from CBCF. In a complaint she filed with the D.C. Office of Human Rights in 2014, Everson said the alleged harassment was verbal, not physical. Everson had also filed a wrongful termination and defamation lawsuit in 2011, USA Today reported, claiming she had been fired from Chicago’s Office of Inspector General after rebuffing a supervisor’s sexual advance. She withdrew the suit in 2012.

Tony Cárdenas

U.S. representative (D-Calif.)

Tony Cárdenas

U.S. representative (D-Calif.)

In May, Cárdenas identified himself as the subject of a lawsuit which claims that a local politician sexually abused a 16-year-old girl in 2007, but he denied the allegations. The lawsuit was filed April 27 and did not identify him because, under California law, the names of defendants in child sex abuse cases cannot be disclosed without court approval.

Jim Jordan

U.S. representative (R-Ohio)

Jim Jordan

U.S. representative (R-Ohio)

Although not accused of sexual misconduct himself, Jordan has been accused of tolerating it. In July, multiple former wrestlers for Ohio State University accused a former team doctor of groping them and have alleged that Jordan, an assistant coach at the time, knew of the sexual abuse. Jordan has denied he was aware of the behavior. Jordan is running for speaker of the House to replace retiring Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and has filed articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein over the Russia investigation.

Mel Watt

director of Federal Housing Finance Agency

Mel Watt

director of Federal Housing Finance Agency

Employee Simone Grimes in July accused Watt of sexually harassing her and said he blocked her from getting a raise when she rejected his advances. A federal investigative report describes 17 alleged incidents but does not draw any conclusions. In a July statment, Watt said, “The selective leaks related to this matter are obviously intended to embarrass or to lead to an unfounded or political conclusion. However, I am confident that the investigation currently in progress will confirm that I have not done anything contrary to law.”

Keith Ellison

U.S. representative (D-Minn.), currently running for attorney general of Minnesota

Keith Ellison

U.S. representative (D-Minn.), currently running for attorney general of Minnesota

In August, Ellison publicly denied accusations levied against him the previous day by the son of his ex-girlfriend that he had emotionally and physically abused her. The son claimed in the post to have a two-minute video depicting Ellison "dragging my mama off the bed by her feet," although no video was posted. Ellison denied the video's existence, saying, "This video does not exist because I never behaved in this way, and any characterization otherwise is false." Karen Monahan, Ellison's ex-girlfriend, told the New York Times after Ellison's denial that she was the victim of what she called "narcissist abuse" by Ellison.

Marty Nothstein

Republican congressional candidate in Pennsylvania

Marty Nothstein

Republican congressional candidate in Pennsylvania

Nothstein was placed on unpaid leave from his position as executive director of a bike-racing center after a U.S. Olympic-related organization received a sexual misconduct allegation about him, dating from 2000, which was the year he won an Olympic gold medal for cycling. Less than a week after the allegations were made public in August, the U.S. Center for Safe Sport, in an email to Nothstein's attorney, said it had closed its inquiry without taking action. Nothstein described the allegations as “100 percent false” and a “political hit job.”

Elise Viebeck contributed to this report.

About this story

This list comprises federal elected officials and top aides to them, candidates for federal office and high-ranking officials in the three branches of federal government.

Originally published Sept. 21, 2018.

Photos by the Associated Press, Detroit News and Sipa via Associated Press, Getty Images, EPA-EFE/Shutterstock, Reuters video and The Washington Post.

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