Rep. Trent Franks expected to resign

A MARCH 24 2017 FILE

Yesterday, Lauretta and I reported on how Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) was going to resign from Congress.

The House of Representatives Ethics Committee said on Thursday it had opened an investigation into accusations of sexual harassment against Franks.

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. Franks added, "I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress".

Franks, a staunch conservative, said in his statement Thursday that he never physically intimidated, coerced or attempted to have sexual contact with any member of his congressional staff.

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A Reaganite Republican, Franks's platform has long held that human life begins at conception, as he has introduced a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks. And the congressman said that the investigation was the instigation for his decision to resign at the end of January, because, he said, "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 that his wife was in the hospital for an "ongoing ailment", and that this sped up the timetable.

Franks said in his statement that the investigation concerns his "discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable".

Franks did not deny the allegations when Ryan confronted him, according to the speaker's statement. Franks said they had tried to find another surrogate to give their children a sibling. "The statement will explain". Al Franken earlier in the day.

An unnamed Arizona Republican told RollCall that "rumors" of inappropriate behavior have been "swirling around" Franks "for years, at least in 2012". He serves on the House Judiciary and Armed Services committees.


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