Rep. Trent Franks to resign from Congress after asking staffers about surrogacy
09 December, 2017, 05:12 | Author: Valerie Burke
While Franks' statement left the circumstances of the "discussion" murky, three Republicans familiar with the allegations said that he had asked the staffers, who worked for him at the time but have since left his office, if they would serve as a surrogate mother for his child.
"The statement will explain", he said. Citing an unnamed Republican operative, Politico also reported that Franks is expected to resign, as did CNN, citing multiple unnamed sources.
"I have absolutely never physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff", Franks said in the statement.
Franks is a conservative member of the House Freedom Caucus who has made his crusade against abortion a cornerstone of his career.
While it wasn't immediately clear why he planned to step down, the House Ethics Committee also announced Thursday evening that it was convening a subcommittee to determine if Franks "engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment".
Franks was first elected to Congress in 2002 from the old 2nd District.
In that statement, he acknowledged that he had discussed surrogacy with two female staffers, but he did not provide details about the discussions.
Franks is the third member of Congress this week - following House Democrat John Conyers and Senate Democrat Al Franken - to announce his resignation in the wake of sexual misconduct accusations.
"We're trying to get that done before the holidays, over the next few weeks", Alderman said.
Franks was spotted on the House floor during votes Thursday night, speaking with fellow Arizona Republicans Andy Biggs and David Schweikert. He faced accusations from women of improper sexual behavior that he's contesting.
Franks stressed at the start of his statement that his resignation was not the result of sexual impropriety, allegations of which resulted in the resignation of Minnesota Sen. He sought to clarify the comment, saying later-term abortions linked to pregnancies caused by rape are infrequent.
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