Arizona Congressman Will Resign In January Amid Sexual Harassment Investigation

Dec 09, 2017, 10:41
Arizona Congressman Will Resign In January Amid Sexual Harassment Investigation

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) is expected to resign from Congress, multiple outlets reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources.

In a one-page statement late Thursday, the House Ethics Committee said its members were examining whether Franks "engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment".

In a statement, Franks said he regrets his decision to raise the question with a pair of his female staffers.

But he issued a statement Friday saying he would leave Congress immediately.

He acknowledged discussing surrogacy with former aides however.

Mr. Franks, who made his name with strident social conservatism and adamant opposition to abortion in all forms, would be the third lawmaker to step down from office this week. "I have recently learned that the Ethics Committee is reviewing an inquiry regarding my discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable".

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Franks went on to detail how he and his wife had "long struggled with infertility" and suffered three miscarriages. After having twins with a surrogate, the couple sought additional children, he said.

An unnamed Arizona Republican told RollCall that "rumors" of inappropriate behavior have been "swirling around" Franks "for years, at least in 2012".

"The statement will explain", he said.

"We're trying to get that done before the holidays, over the next few weeks", Alderman said.

Asked for comment as he left the floor, Franks said, "I'll let the statement speak for itself". He serves on the House Judiciary and Armed Services committees.

Franks said he was resigning his House seat because because, "in the midst of this current cultural and media climate, I am deeply convinced I would be unable to complete a fair House Ethics investigation before distorted and sensationalized versions of this story would put me, my family, my staff, and my noble colleagues in the House of Representatives through hyperbolized public excoriation".