Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) allegedly threatened a woman if she exposed his sexual behavior, telling her that he would report her to the Capitol Police. Barton, according to The Washington Post, sent the woman “sexually explicit photos, videos and messages,” before she corresponded with other women who had relationships with Barton and was allegedly sharing messages and photos with them. The woman, who spoke anonymously to the Post, secretly recorded a 2015 phone call with Barton in which the Texas congressman allegedly warned her against taking actions that “would negatively affect my career.” The woman says she and Barton engaged in two sexual encounters in addition to exchanging messages and photos. “I want your word that this ends,” Barton said during the phone call. “I will be completely straight with you. I am ready if I have to, I don’t want to, but I should take all this crap to the Capitol Hill Police and have them launch an investigation. And if I do that, that hurts me potentially big time.” In a statement to the Post, Barton said the Capitol Police had opened an investigation: “When I ended that relationship, she threatened to publicly share my private photographs and intimate correspondence in retaliation. As the transcript reflects, I offered to take the matter to the Capitol Hill Police to open an investigation. Today, the Capitol Police reached out to me and offered to launch an investigation and I have accepted.” Barton apologized earlier Wednesday after a nude photo of him was circulating online.
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