Rep. Franks to Resign After Discussing Surrogacy With Female Staffers

Jeannette Daniel
December 9, 2017

Trent Franks will resign from Congress at the end of January, the Republican said in a statement Thursday.

The House Ethics Committee later announced that is had opened an investigation of allegations Mr. Franks "engaged in conducted that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment".

Franks said he is coming under investigation for talking to two former female staffers of his about being surrogates for his children.

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

"Due to my familiarity and experience with the process of surrogacy, I clearly became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others", Franks said.

Franks is a conservative member of the House Freedom Caucus who has made his crusade against abortion a cornerstone of his career. He recently told the National Journal that he and his wife have tried three times to adopt from a crisis pregnancy center, but each time his wife changed her mind after the birth.

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Franks explained in his statement that he and his wife have long struggled with infertility.

An unnamed Arizona Republican told RollCall that "rumors" of inappropriate behavior have been "swirling around" Franks "for years, at least in 2012". Al Franken, who also announced his resignation on Thursday.

Asked for comment as he left the floor, Franks said, "I'll let the statement speak for itself". Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., also resigned earlier this week facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment. But no revelations were aired in the aftermath of the decision, and Franks went on to assume the chairmanship of a House Judiciary subcommittee.

An senior congressional official said Ryan's general counsel was contacted about two weeks ago by someone with information about "troubling behaviour" by Franks directed at a former staffer. The speaker's office declined to comment.

After Ryan brought the claims to Franks, he filed a complaint with the Ethics Committee and asked Franks to resign.

Other reports by My Hot News

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