(CNN) — Arizona GOP Rep. Trent Franks, who said Thursday he would resign in January after the House Ethics Committee said it would investigate allegations against him of sexual harassment, announced he will instead resign effective Friday.
“Last night, my wife was admitted to the hospital in Washington, DC due to an ongoing ailment,” he said in a statement Friday. “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 8, 2017.”
The House Ethics Committee announced Thursday that it will investigate Franks to determine if he engaged in “conduct that constitutes sexual harassment and/or retaliation for opposing sexual harassment.”
In his original statement Thursday, Franks acknowledged he made staffers “uncomfortable” and that he discussed fertility issues and surrogacy with two female staffers, but denied having ever “physically intimidated, coerced, or had, or attempted to have, any sexual contact with any member of my congressional staff.”
“But 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,” Franks said in the Thursday statement. “Rather than allow a sensationalized trial by media damage those things I love most, this morning I notified House leadership that I will be leaving Congress as of January 31, 2018.”
Besides Franks, Democratic Rep. John Conyers of Michigan announced he would retire effective Tuesday and Democratic Sen. Al Franken said Thursday he would retire in the “the coming weeks.”