Arizona Republican resigns in face of House investigation
WASHINGTON» 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 children as surrogates.
Franks’ announcement came as the House Ethics Committee said it would create a special subcommittee to investigate Franks for conduct “that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment.”
His resignation, which Franks said is effective Jan. 31, will end the ethics investigation.
Franks said the investigation concerns his “discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable.”
While Franks’ statement left the circumstances of the “discussion” murky, three Republicans familiar with the allegations said that he had asked the staffers, who worked for him at the time but have since left his office, if they would serve as surrogate mothers for his children.
In his statement, Franks said he never “physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff.”