SPONSORED:

Rep. Trent Franks to resign from Congress

Rep. Trent FranksHarold (Trent) Trent FranksArizona New Members 2019 Cook shifts 8 House races toward Dems Freedom Caucus members see openings in leadership MORE (R-Ariz.) is resigning from Congress, according to two Arizona Republicans with knowledge of the decision.

One source said Franks would resign in the face of what the source described as forthcoming claims of inappropriate behavior.

ADVERTISEMENT

Franks was mobbed by reporters as he left the House floor on Thursday evening but did not respond to questions. 

"I'll let the statement speak for itself," he said. 

As the news of his resignation broke, fellow Republicans approached Franks on the House floor, all stone-faced. 

Several fellow conservatives sat with Franks, bent their heads and prayed.

Franks represents a safe GOP district northwest of Phoenix. 

Arizona Republicans say if and when Gov. Doug Ducey (R) calls a special election, as many as a dozen serious candidates could emerge.

They pointed to state Sens. Debbie Lesko, Kimberly Yee and Steve Montenegro, state Reps. Darin Mitchell and David Livingston, former stare Rep. Rick Gray and Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman as potential contenders.

Franks is best known in Congress for his fierce opposition to abortion. He has repeatedly introduced legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, which the House most recently passed in October.

He drew controversy in 2013 while pushing a version of his 20-week abortion ban when he said that the incidence of pregnancies resulting from rape is "very low." Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnSenate Judiciary to vote on subpoena for Twitter CEO next week Government efforts to 'fix' social media bias overlooks the destruction of our discourse Trump faces unusual barrier to COVID-19 aid: GOP allies MORE (R-Tenn.) was later assigned to manage House floor debate on the bill in his place amid the furor at the time.

Franks continued to support President TrumpDonald John TrumpPolice say man dangling off Trump Tower Chicago demanding to speak with Trump Fauci says he was 'absolutely not' surprised Trump got coronavirus after Rose Garden event Biden: Trump 'continues to lie to us' about coronavirus MORE in the wake of the damaging "Access Hollywood" tape, stating that Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton Rally crowd chants 'lock him up' as Trump calls Biden family 'a criminal enterprise' Undecided voters in Arizona wary of Trump, crave stability Push to expand Supreme Court faces Democratic buzzsaw MORE's support for abortion rights outweighed other considerations.

"Donald Trump's words degraded and insulted women in the most flagrant possible way, and yet Hillary Clinton's policy is to allow the murder of a half a million little tiny women every year," Franks told CNN last year.

— Mike Lillis contributed

Updated: 6:40 p.m.