8-term GOP congressman resigns over surrogacy conversations with former staffers
US Representative Trent Franks (R-Arizona) announced his resignation from Congress Thursday, effective January 31. Minutes earlier, the House Ethics Committee confirmed a sexual harassment inquiry. Franks denied any sexual misbehavior, but did acknowledge discussing surrogacy with two former female subordinates, when Franks and his wife faced infertility. “I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress,” Franks said in a statement. The congressman also stated: “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.” His resignation comes the same day Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) announced his own resignation after several women accused him of inappropriately touching them, or attempting forced kisses.