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Republican congressman Trent Franks resigns

Republican congressman Trent Franks resigns
From CBC - December 7, 2017

Republican congressman Trent Franks of Arizona said Thursday he is resigning next month after revealing that he discussed surrogacy with two female staffers.

The eight-term lawmaker, a staunch conservative and fierce opponent of abortion, said in a statement that he never physically intimidated, coerced or attempted to have any sexual contact with any member of his congressional staff.

Instead, he says, the dispute resulted from a discussion of surrogacy. Franks and his wife have three-year-old twins who were conceived through surrogacy.

Franks says 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."

He said he regrets that his "discussion of this option and process in the workplace" with two female staffers made them feel uncomfortable.

In a statement, Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican from Wisconsin, said that when he learned of the allegations, which he considered "serious and requiring action," he told the lawmaker he should resign.

Franks said he would step down effective Jan. 31, 2018.

Staunch social conservative

In a one-page statement late Thursday, the House ethics panel said its members were examining whether Franks "engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment." The statement provided no further detail and noted that while it was establishing an ethics subcommittee, that did not mean that any violations of law or House rules had occurred.

Franks was seen being comforted in the House chamber by several other Republicans. They included Texas representativeLouie Gohmert, Alabama's Robert Aderholt and fellow Arizonan Andy Biggs.

@RepTrentFranks

Controversial rape comment

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