Franks said he was resigning his House seat because because, "in the midst of this current cultural and media climate, I am deeply convinced I would be unable to complete a fair House Ethics investigation before distorted and sensationalized versions of this story would put me, my family, my staff, and my noble colleagues in the House of Representatives through hyperbolized public excoriation".
"The statement will explain", he said. "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", Franks said in an emailed statement.
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. Franks and his wife, who have struggled with infertility, have 3-year-old twins who were conceived through surrogacy.
The congressman serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee, in addition to be a member of the House Freedom Caucus.
On Thursday, the House Ethics Committee said it would create a special subcommittee to investigate Franks for conduct "that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment".
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The aide cited the surrogacy requests as "a main reason" for leaving the office, adding that she felt retaliated against after turning down the congressman, ignored by Franks and not given many assignments.
The investigation came after House officials learned that he had asked two female employees to bear his child as a surrogate.
On Thursday afternoon, Franks was seen being consoled in the House chamber by several other Republicans. He said he'd depart in a few weeks.
Franks did not deny the allegations when Ryan confronted him, according to the speaker's statement.
The deep-red 8th District, northwest of Phoenix, supported President Donald Trump by 21 points in 2016, according to calculations by Daily Kos Elections.
Ryan's office declined to comment on the latest accusations, or Franks's immediate resignation.
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