U.S. Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ) offered his resignation on Friday amidst accusations that he had propositioned at least two female aides with sex so that he may impregnate them, offering one of them $5 million to carry his child, according to NY Times.
Full statement: https://t.co/Bw6C6d447h
— Rep. Trent Franks (@RepTrentFranks) December 8, 2017
“After discussing options with my family,” he said in his statement, “we came to the conclusion that the best thing for our family now would be for me to tender my previous resignation effective today.”
Franks and his wife, Josephine Franks, who emigrated from the Philippines, married in 1980 and struggled to have children for over twenty years. They finally conceived twins through in vitro fertilization with a donor egg and surrogate mother in 2008 and became parents of twins Joshua Lane and Emily Grace shortly thereafter.
Looking to expand their family, Franks apparently approached at least two female aides about possibly carrying his child, one of whom was offered $5 million. Both of the aides allege that Franks, under no uncertain terms, wanted to impregnate them sexually. Andrea Lafferty, the executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition, said one of the women confided in her about Franks’ inappropriate behavior last year. “She is a strong person,” Ms. Lafferty said, “and she can handle a discussion of surrogacy. This was not a policy discussion. This was a request with a $5 million payout.”
The aide, who remains anonymous, declined his offer, but he persisted in his misconduct. “She rebuffed him many times,” Ms. Lafferty said.
Lafferty urged the aide who confided in her to go to Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s office to discuss the matter, personally contacting him herself when the aide felt comfortable to go forward with her story. “I do think that they thought that she brought a credible story,” Ms. Lafferty said, one “that they needed to look into”.
After hearing the aide’s story, the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into Franks’ misconduct, and Ryan’s office released an official statement disavowing Franks’ actions.
“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 statement read. “The speaker takes seriously his obligation to ensure a safe workplace in the House.”
The investigation is ongoing.