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09 December 2017, 10:41 | Leigh Flowers
Politicoreported Thursday night that Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) is set to resign "after asking female staffers to be a surrogate for his child". Initial reports of his resignation did not give a reason why, but new details are emerging.
"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", Franks said in the statement.
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".
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.
The exact reason for Franks's resignation is unknown, but the congressman indicated he would later release a statement explaining his decision. According to Politico, the eight-term congressman will step down on January 31, 2018. The House Ethics Committee will investigate Franks' fellow GOPer, Texan Blake Farenthold, for allegedly sexually harassing a staff member and retaliating against her. Biggs said he would not comment until Franks announced his plans. Al Franken earlier in the day.
Photo Representative Trent Franks of Arizona on Thursday in Washington.
Franks is also a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a hard-right faction that has often clashed with Republican leaders.
Franks' departure comes just days after Democratic Representative John Conyers of MI announced his immediate retirement amid sexual harassment allegations that he has denied. He sought to clarify the comment, saying later-term abortions linked to pregnancies caused by rape are infrequent. He serves on the House Judiciary and Armed Services committees.
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