Last Wednesday, the speaker was briefed on credible claims of misconduct by Rep. Trent Franks. He found the allegations to be serious and requiring action. The next day, the speaker presented Rep. Franks with the allegations, which he did not deny. The speaker told Rep. Franks that he intended to refer the allegations directly to the House Ethics Committee and told him that he should resign from Congress. The allegations were filed with the Ethics Committee last Friday. And today, the speaker accepted a letter of resignation. The speaker takes seriously his obligation to ensure a safe workplace in the House.
About two weeks ago, the general counsel to the speaker was contacted by a friend with information about troubling behavior by Rep. Trent Franks directed at a former staffer that took place at the time that this person worked in the congressman's office. The speaker’s general counsel believed the information was concerning and warranted examination. The speaker’s general counsel inquired whether the former staffer would be willing to share their story directly, and the person agreed. On Tuesday of last week, the speaker’s general counsel interviewed the former staffer, who shared claims of misconduct directed at this person as well as a second former staff member. The claim involving the second aide was validated independently by the speaker’s office through a third party who had been made aware of the matter at the time. The next day, the speaker was briefed. The following day, he brought the claims to Rep. Franks, and the next morning the complaint was filed with the Ethics Committee. Subsequent conversations took place this week between the speaker and Rep. Franks leading to the congressman’s decision to offer his letter of resignation.