Republican Congressman Rep. Franks Will Leave Office At The End Of January
A Republican Congressman has announced a planned resignation after admitting to asking his female staffers to have his babies—the Weinstein effect seems to be getting weirder and weirder.
In fairness, and for context, the perpetrator in question was allegedly asking these women to carry a baby to term for him and his wife. He was not actually requesting they sleep with him.
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The representative, Trent Franks (R-Arizona), issued a statement addressing the situation and adding that he “deeply regretted” causing distress to the women he discussed it with. Franks has been serving his congressional district since 2008.
His statement began as follows:
I have always tried to create a very warm and supportive atmosphere for every last person who has ever worked in my congressional office. It is my deepest conviction that there are many staffers, former and present, who would readily volunteer to substantiate this fact.
Given the nature of numerous allegations and reports across America in recent weeks, I want to first make one thing completely clear. I have absolutely never physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff.
However, I do want to take full and personal responsibility for the ways I have broached a topic that, unbeknownst to me until very recently, made certain individuals uncomfortable. And so, I want to shed light on how those conversations came about. My wife and I have long struggled with infertility. We experienced three miscarriages.
Franks claims that he never coerced anyone into sexual contact with him and it’s very possible that this is the case. Regardless, it’s an odd and inappropriate topic for him to raise to his staffers considering it requires the participant to give up months of their life to raise the baby of another couple. It’s clear that whatever the case may be, he must have said something that was extremely off-putting
Franks is currently being investigated by the Ethics Committee and Speaker Paul Ryan has released a statement confirming that he has been informed on the matter:
“Last Wednesday, the speaker was briefed on credible claims of misconduct by Rep. Trent Franks. He found the allegations to be serious and requiring action. The next day, the speaker presented Rep. Franks with the allegations, which he did not deny. The speaker told Rep. Franks that he intended to refer the allegations directly to the House Ethics Committee and told him that he should resign from Congress. The allegations were filed with the Ethics Committee last Friday. And today, the speaker accepted a letter of resignation. The speaker takes seriously his obligation to ensure a safe workplace in the House.”
According to Franks’ announcement, he plans to continue working until the end of this upcoming January. Following his resignation, the governor of Arizona will call a special election in order to fill the vacancy, a process that could take up to 150 days to complete.
You can read the full text of Franks’ statement here.