Arizona Rep. Trent Franks expected to resign

The conservative lawmaker was expected to make a statement Thursday.

“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 31st, 2018,” he continued.

Franks is a conservative member of the House Freedom Caucus who has made his crusade against abortion a cornerstone of his career. He is the dean of the Arizona delegation and is serving his eighth term in Washington.

Franks is a member of the House Armed Services and Judiciary committees. He chairs a subcommittee on the Constitution and civil justice and is vice chair of a subcommittee on emerging threats.

The House Ethics Committee announced they had opened an investigation into his conduct. 

The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call first reported the news, which came the same day Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, a Democrat, announced his own departure due to complaints of sexual harassment.

Franks briefly considered running for Senate after Sen. Jeff Flake announced he was retiring, but ultimately decided it was not the right time. Last month he told USA TODAY “there may be some opportunity for me in the future maybe not, but I won’t be brokenhearted either way.” 

Contributing: Ronald J. Hansen and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez in Phoenix, Ariz.

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