Arizona Representative Trent Franks expedited the timeline of his resignation from Congress Friday, announcing he would no longer be waiting until the end of January to step down. Instead, his departure is effectively immediately. While an initial AP report stated Franks’ decision was based on his wife’s sudden admission to the hospital for “an ongoing ailment,” an update to that story revealed his rapid withdrawal was more likely due to forthcoming accusations from a former aide that Franks had repeatedly pressured her to act as a pregnancy surrogate for himself and his wife, and at one point, allegedly went as far as to offer her $5 million.
Things took an even creepier turn from there. Shortly after the AP published the allegation, Politico released a story detailing the accounts of two female former staffers of Franks’ office who say they too were approached by the congressman to act as pregnancy surrogates. In their cases, however, though both staffers say it wasn’t completely clear, they got the impression Franks was proposing he impregnate them via sexual intercourse. Franks is staunchly opposed to abortion rights and procedures involving the discarding of embryos.
The report also stated that Franks once allegedly attempted to persuade a female staffer that she was in love with him by having her read an article that describes how a person knows when they’re in love. After rebuffing him, one woman said she was no longer was granted access to the congressman, which she took as retribution.
Politico reportedly contacted Franks’ office hours before he announced his immediate resignation Friday. He denied all of the new allegations via a spokesperson. He previously admitted to discussing surrogacy with his staffers, and apologized if he made them uncomfortable. In light of these new reports, that certainly seems like a safe bet.