Sunday, 10 December, 2017

GOP Rep. Barton announces retirement after more lewd messages surface

Ghanbari Ghanbari
Melissa Porter | 03 December, 2017, 17:58

A U.S. congressman says he will not seek re-election after a nude picture of him was posted online by an ex girlfriend.

Canon later told The Associated Press that she and Barton exchanged online messages from around 2011 to 2015.

"There are enough people who lost faith in me that it's time to step aside and let there be a new voice for the 6th district in Washington, so I am not going to run for re-election", Barton explained.

It's a truly messy situation, so it should not come as much of a surprise that Barton has announced he will not seek re-election for an 18th House of Representatives term in 2018. Still, the district's voting history leans heavily Republican, making it unlikely that any Democrat can win.

Barton, 68, made the announcement in an interview with the Dallas Morning News, saying he reversed his earlier decision to run after "enough people lost faith in me".

Last week, Barton apologized after a nude photo of him ended up online.

"While separated from my second wife, prior to the divorce, I had sexual relationships with other mature adult women".

But his conduct, set against a broader backdrop of sexual harassment tales that have rocked the political establishment, prominent media figures, and Hollywood alike, proved too turbulent a storm for him to weather politically. They included Barton asking after midnight in June 2012 whether Canon was "wearing a tank top only. and no panties". John ConyersJohn James ConyersHarassment allegations knock Dems off message Pelosi sides with Conyers accuser day after calling him an "icon" Dems jockey for position in Judiciary fight MORE (R-Mich.), the longest-serving member of Congress, to resign his seat amid sexual harassment allegations from several former staffers. "Each was consensual. Those relationships have ended". "I am sorry that I let my constituents down", he said in a statement Wednesday.

In a statement to the Post, Barton said a transcript of the telephone conversation provided by the newspaper may be "evidence" of a "potential crime against me". The woman provided a 2015 phone recording to the Washington Post in which Barton asked her to stop talking to the other women, implies she is blackmailing him a threat to release nude photos, and says he's willing to go to the Capitol Police.

"This woman admitted that we had a consensual relationship", Barton said. "I offered to take the matter to the Capitol Hill Police to open an investigation". You know my attire!

"Tell me what else u r wearing. if anything", Barton wrote in one of the messages published by the Star-Telegram.

Canon replied, "All the good ones are married..."

Barton said, "Answer me miss evasive and then u can ask me if u wish waiting..."

Canon said she came forward for a reason: "I hope it will lead to others coming forward because I can't believe I'm the only one".