Report: Arizona Rep. Trent Franks resigning immediately; offered aide $5M to be surrogate
WASHINGTON - A former aide to Republican Rep. Trent Franks has told The Associated Press the congressman repeatedly pressed her to carry his child, at one point offering her $5 million to act as a surrogate.
The eight-term Arizona lawmaker abruptly resigned Friday, bowing to an ultimatum from Speaker Paul Ryan. Ryan told Franks that he would refer the allegations to the Ethics Committee, and urged him to step aside.
The former staffer said the congressman asked at least four times if she'd be willing to act as a surrogate in exchange for money. Franks, in his statement announcing his resignation, said he and his wife have struggled with infertility.
The Associated Press verified the identity of the staffer, who asked that her name be withheld out of concern for her privacy, and confirmed that she worked in Franks' office.
In addition, Politico reported Friday that the staffers Franks approached were worried that the congressman "was asking to have sexual relations with them."
Politico also said that a former staffer claimed Franks had an aide read an article about how a person knows they're in love with someone as a way to convince her they were in love.
Another piece of the Politico article alleged one woman believed she suffered retribution after she rebuffed Franks' advances.
Franks, a social conservative who has served eight terms in Congress, previously said Thursday he was resigning effective Jan. 31, rather than face a House Ethics Committee investigation.
Franks' announcement Friday; however, means his resignation would be effective immediately.