Rep. Trent Franks resigns effective immediately - Tucson News Now

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Rep. Trent Franks resigns effective immediately

Rep. Trent Franks. (Source: Congress) Rep. Trent Franks. (Source: Congress)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Rep. Trent Franks announced his immediate resignation on Friday, Dec. 8,

According to the Associated Press, Franks said his wife has been admitted into a hospital in Washington, D.C.

Also on Friday, a former aide to Franks has told The Associated Press the congressman repeatedly pressed her to carry his child, at one point offering her $5 million to act as a surrogate mother.

The former aide said the conversations took place in private, sometimes in the congressman's car, and that she repeatedly told him she wasn't interested. She said she never filed a formal complaint because until recently she didn't know where to go, but that his behavior had made her feel uncomfortable.

"During my time there, I was asked a few times to look over a 'contract' to carry his child, and if I would conceive his child, I would be given $5 million," she said, adding that she refused to look over the contract and has never seen a copy.

On Thursday, Franks said he was stepping down after allegations of possible sexual harassment after he reportedly talked about surrogacy with two female staffers.

The Republican from Arizona made the announcement and said he would leave Congress on Jan. 31, 2018.

According to Franks' statement, he and his wife were looking for a surrogate for a third child and he talked to two female staffers about it, which made them feel uncomfortable.

"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.

The eight-term lawmaker, a staunch conservative and fierce opponent of abortion, denied ever having "physically intimidated, coerced or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff."

According to a statement from House Speaker Paul Ryan, the claims were made to Ryan on Dec. 6. Franks didn't deny the allegations and Ryan told Franks he should resign, the statement said.

An Ethics Committee started the investigation last Friday into the discussions between Franks and the two staffers. The panel also said it will investigate Franks to determine if he engaged in "retaliation for opposing sexual harassment."

Ethics is unlikely to proceed in light of the resignation.

Ryan accepted the letter of resignation on Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, liberal Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., announced his resignation after facing allegations of sexual harassment by at least eight women. Franken said some of those accusations were false and that he remembered others differently than his accusers did. He said he'd depart in a few weeks.?

On Tuesday, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., resigned effective immediately. He also faced accusations from women of improper sexual behavior that he's contesting.

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