09 December, 2017
Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who is among the most conservative members of the House, said he would resign his seat after House officials learned that he had asked two female employees to bear his child as a surrogate.
Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition, told CNN that the accuser - a former aide whom she did not name - said that she was asked to look over a contract to carry Franks' child.
"I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress", said Franks, becoming the third Hill-er to announce he is throwing in the towel following Franken and Rep. John Conyers just this week.
Franks, 60, said he had become familiar with the surrogacy process in recent years and "became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others".
The eight-term Arizona lawmaker abruptly resigned Friday, bowing to an ultimatum from Speaker Paul Ryan. 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.
The exact reason for Franks's resignation is unknown, but the congressman indicated he would later release a statement explaining his decision.
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His resignation, which Franks said will take effect January 31, will end the ethics investigation.
The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into Franks earlier in the day.
Photo Representative Trent Franks of Arizona on Thursday in Washington.
Franks has been a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus.
Franks' departure comes just days after Democratic Representative John Conyers of MI announced his immediate retirement amid sexual harassment allegations that he has denied.
In his original announcement, Franks said he had never physically intimidated, coerced or attempted to have any sexual contact with any member of his congressional staff. Attempts to seek comment through the House Office of the Clerk were unsuccessful.