Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) resigned Friday amid reports he suggested aides have intercourse with him and serve as a surrogate for his child.
Franks had said Thursday that he would resign in February. Friday’s announcement was effective immediately.
The congressman also said his wife had been admitted to the hospital “due to an ongoing ailment.”
“Last night, my wife was admitted to the hospital in Washington, D.C. due to an ongoing ailment,” Franks said in a statement. “After discussing options with my family, we came to the conclusion that the best thing for our family now would be for me to tender my previous resignation effective today, December 8th, 2017.”
Politico reported Friday that, prior to Franks announcing that he would resign immediately, it had asked the congressman about allegations of unwanted advances toward female staffers. The outlet reported that Franks had approached staffers about serving as surrogates for his child, as he acknowledged Thursday, but also that “[i]t was not clear to the women whether he was asking about impregnating the women through sexual intercourse or in vitro fertilization.”
“Female aides said Franks suggested intercourse to impregnate them,” Politico headlined the article.
The outlet also reported that unnamed sources said a former staffer had alleged Franks had tried to persuade her they were in love “by having her read an article that described how a person knows they’re in love with someone,” and that one woman had believed she had had her access to Franks revoked as retribution for refusing his advances.
Politico reported Franks denied the allegations through a spokesperson.
And an unnamed former aide of Franks told the Associated Press that he had “repeatedly pressed her” to act as a surrogate for his child, including by offering $5 million at one point. The former staffer told the AP Franks had asked her to serve as a surrogate in exchange for money “at least four times,” the outlet reported Friday.
On Thursday, Franks announced he would resign from Congress in January, after he learned that the House Ethics Committee would probe what he said in a statement was “an inquiry regarding my discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable.”
Correction: This post originally misstated Franks’ home state. He is from Arizona, not Texas.
This post has been updated.