BREAKING: GOP Congressman to Resign Over “Inappropriate Behavior” Allegations (UPDATED)

A member of Congress is about to lose his job, apparently over inappropriate behavior. But this one is a genuine surprise.

Roll Call reports that sources have told them Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), a socially conservative member of the House Freedom Caucus, will likely be announcing his resignation over unspecified “inappropriate” behavior on his part (UPDATE – SEE BOTTOM OF POST).

His office did not confirm anything specific to Roll Call, other than that Franks “will have a statement a little bit later” that “will explain” what is going on.

“There’s been rumors swirling around him for years, at least in 2012,” [one unnamed Arizona] Republican said. “And if this turns out to be true there won’t be that many people who are surprised” […]

According to Arizona state law, the governor will have to call a special election to fill the seat because Franks’ resignation comes more than 6 months before the next general election.

The governor is required to establish the date of the primary election within 72 hours of the seat being officially vacated. The primary election is to be held no less than 80 and no more than 90 days after the vacancy occurs. The special general election is required to be held no less than 50 and no more than 60 days after the primary.

Here’s a bit more from the Hill:

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

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

Apparently these rumors were serious enough to get Franks to abruptly halt a planned Senate run back in 2012.

Here are some notable observations from Politico’s Jake Sherman:

This is a surprising and unclear story, but TFPP will continue to monitor it and update as soon as we have the official word from Frank’s office.

UPDATE: Here is Franks’ full statement:

Contrary to prior speculation, Franks is not accused of sexual impropriety — at least, not as the term is usually understood — but rather, as the Hill puts it, “discuss[ing] the option of surrogacy with female staffers.”

“Due to my familiarity and experience with the process of surrogacy, I clearly became insensitive as to how the discussion of such an intensely personal topic might affect others,” Franks said in a statement.

I doubt this is the news anyone expected. In any event, TFPP will continue to follow this story as it unfolds.