Rep. Trent Franks resigns amid ethics investigation

FILE - In this March 24, 2017, file photo, Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz. speaks with a reporter on Capitol Hill in Washington. Two Republican consultants say Arizona GOP Rep. Trent Franks is resigning from Congress. Neither of the GOP operatives advisers said they knew why the eight-term lawmaker was leaving. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona says he is resigning Jan. 31 amid a House Ethics Committee investigation of possible sexual harassment.

Franks says in a statement that he never physically intimidated, coerced or attempted to have any sexual contact with any member of his congressional staff.

Instead, he says, the dispute resulted from a discussion of surrogacy. Franks and his wife have 3-year-old twins who were conceived through surrogacy.

Franks says he had become familiar with the surrogacy process in recent years, and “became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others.”

He said he regrets that his “discussion of this option and process in the workplace” with two female staffers made them feel uncomfortable.

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