Newstalk
Newstalk

12.16 8 Dec 2017


Share this article


A US Congressman has resigned amid concerns over his 'discussion of surrogacy' with two former female staff members.

Mr Franks is an Arizona representative who has served as a congressman since 2003.

He will now leave Congress at the end of January.

Republican Trent Franks announced his resignation as it was revealed that the House Committee on Ethics had approved an investigation into the complaints.

The committee said an investigative subcommittee "shall have jurisdiction to determine whether Representative Trent Franks engaged in conduct that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment, in violation of House Rules, law, regulations, or other standards of conduct".

House Speaker Paul Ryan's office, meanwhile, confirmed Mr Ryan had received "credible claims of misconduct" concerning Mr Franks, and the Republican leader had asked the Arizona politician to resign in the wake of the allegations.

In a statement, Mr Franks said he and his wife previously had a woman act as a gestational surrogate, and highlighted the couple's eagerness to have at least one more child.

He explained: "Due to my familiarity and experience with the process of surrogacy, I clearly became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others.

"I have recently learned that the Ethics Committee is reviewing an inquiry regarding my discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable. I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress.

He stressed: "I have absolutely never physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff.

"However, I do want to take full and personal responsibility for the ways I have broached a topic that, unbeknownst to me until very recently, made certain individuals uncomfortable."

It marked Thursday's second high-profile resignation in Washington, following Democratic Senator Al Franken's announcement that he will resign from the Senate in the coming weeks.

Recent weeks have seen several women accuse Franken - a two-term Minnesota senator and former Saturday Night Live comedian - of inappropriate behaviour and sexual misconduct.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Mr Franken insisted that "some of the allegations against me are simply not true" - but added he could not remain an 'effective senator' while facing an Ethics Committee probe.


Share this article


Read more about

News

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

Up next

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on