Rep. Trent Franks resigns immediately amid surrogacy allegation

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Rep. Trent Franks (Source: Rep. Trent Franks (Source:

Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona's eighth congressional district announced Friday that he would resign from his position immediately amid allegations that he asked two female staffers to be surrogates for him and his wife.

The resignation comes just one day after Franks admitted to the allegations and announced he would resign effective January 2018.

[READ MORE: AZ GOP Rep. Trent Franks announces resignation over possible sexual harassment allegations]

Franks released a statement Friday afternoon stating he would resign immediately after his wife was hospitalized for an "ongoing ailment." 

"Last night, my wife was admitted to the hospital in Washington, D.C. due to an ongoing ailment. After discussing options with my family, we came to the conclusion that the best thing for our family now would be for me to tender my previous resignation effective today, December 8th, 2017."

The eight-term lawmaker, a staunch conservative and fierce opponent of abortion, said in a statement Thursday 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, who have struggled with infertility, have 3-year-old twins who were carried through surrogacy.

Franks, 60, 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."

A former aide told the Associated Press that Franks offered her $5 million to carry his child.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Politics]

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

According to a statement from House Speaker Paul Ryan, the allegations were made on Dec. 6. and Franks did not deny them. Ryan then told Franks that he should resign, the statement said. 

Franks was under investigation by an ethics committee when he announced his resignation would come immediately instead of in January.

Gov. Doug Ducey is expected to announce dates for a special election to replace Franks on Monday.

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