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09 December 2017, 10:41 | Violet Powell
NATION-NOW Arizona Rep. Trent Franks expected to resign
Arizona Rep. Trent Franks to resign
A former aide to US Republican Congressman Trent Franks has told The Associated Press the congressman repeatedly pressed her to carry his child, at one point offering her $US5 million ($A7 million) to act as a surrogate.
Franks' announcement came as the House Ethics Committeesaid it would create a special subcommittee to investigate Franks for conduct "that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment".
While Franks' statement left the circumstances of the "discussion" murky, three Republicans familiar with the allegations said that he had asked the staffers, who worked for him at the time but have since left his office, if they would serve as a surrogate mother for his child.
In a statement, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called the allegations "serious and requiring action" and said he told Franks he should resign.
"I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress", said Franks, becoming the third Hill-er to announce he is throwing in the towel following Franken and Rep. John Conyers just this week.
The congressman admits he "became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others".
He said the House Ethics Committee was going to investigate him, but he was going to resign come January of next year, since he anxious he wasn't going to get a fair investigation.
Ryan said that he presented Franks with the allegations, "which he did not deny", and filed them with the House Committee on Ethics. Biggs said he would not comment until Franks announced his plans.
At the end of the day, Franks was right to step aside.
Franks' departure comes just days after Democratic Representative John Conyers of MI announced his immediate retirement amid sexual harassment allegations that he has denied.
A senior congressional official said Ryan's general counsel was contacted about two weeks ago by someone with information about "troubling behavior" by Franks involving a former staffer. Attempts to seek comment through the House Office of the Clerk were unsuccessful.
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