Trent Franks (AP/Matt York)

A Republican just resigned because a female staffer spoke up

Two GOP representatives face the music — but Moore and Trump are unlikely to follow


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Charlie May
December 8, 2017 1:22PM (UTC)

Republican Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona announced his resignation from the House on Thursday night following the House Ethics Committee launching probe into a conversation he had with two female subordinates about child surrogacy.

"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," Franks said in a statement, according to ABC News. "I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress."

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Franks continued, "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."

His resignation will go into effect on Jan. 31, 2018.

The news came on the same afternoon in which Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., resigned from office following multiple accusations from women about groping or other variations of sexual misconduct, as Salon has previously reported.

Another House Ethics Committee investigation was also launched into Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold of Texas, after allegations surfaced about him sexually harassing a former aide, Lauren Greene, according to Politico. She said was fired by Farenthold after she complained about a series of comments he allegedly had made about "wet dreams" and "sexual fantasies" about Greene.

 

As powerful men across the media, in Hollywood and some in Congress have faced the consequences of their actions, the GOP has largely, prior to these two recent instances, come out unscathed — and it's not due to a shortage of alleged abusers. The party has brazenly bowed its head, or simply pointed a finger elsewhere when faced with internal turmoil.

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who stands accused of sexually preying on numerous teenage girls, is still in a close race with Democratic candidate Doug Jones. President Donald Trump endorsed Moore and paved the way for the Republican National Committee to begin funding the campaign again, as the election is just four days away.

Moore has categorically denied all of the allegations, painted his accusers as criminals and has explicitly said America was "great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery."

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The president himself, of course, has also been accused by at least 16 women of sexual harassment or abuse, but he has called those allegations "fake news."


Charlie May

Charlie May is a news writer at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @charliejmay

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