With the wave of sexual misconduct accusations washing across nearly all of American society and midterms looming in the not-so-distant future, more politicians in Congress might be facing a rough tide in the coming year.
Potential cases could likely hit both the House and Senate throughout 2018. But it's the Senate where the impact is likely to be greatest, and the reason is simple math. The GOP majority in the Senate is already a dramatically low 51-49 margin post Doug Jones' victory in the Alabama special election. Just one lost seat either pulls the Senate into a tie or gives the Republicans some much needed breathing room.
Right now there are 264 sealed cases of sexual misconduct and other violations of the "Congressional Accountability Act" which resulted in settlements totaling $17 million of taxpayer money in the years since 1997.
So far, the focus on the effects of the harassment scandals has been squarely on House. But any member of the House or Senate serving for more than a year at any time since 1997 could be named in one of those 264 sealed settlements.
Sources say that pressure is leading to a widespread fear factor on Capitol Hill. Dozens of staffers have told CNBC they're starting to make contingency plans in case their elected bosses get ensnared in the next sexual misconduct allegation to go public.