Tags: trent franks | paul ryan | conyers | sexual assualt

Does Trent Franks' Exit Signal an Exodus?

Image: Does Trent Franks' Exit Signal an Exodus?
(AP/Carolyn Kaster)

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Friday, 08 December 2017 10:13 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The stunning news Thursday night that Rep. Trent Franks was resigning immediately set off speculation that a flood of other politicians might soon follow.

A freshman Republican House member told Newsmax: “He’s in this whole business that’s going on [the allegations of harassment by former staffers on Capitol Hill against their bosses] and he’s leaving now before it really takes off.”

Trent’s resignation letter suggested that Franks’ downfall was the result of his sounding out several female staffers to be surrogate mothers for him and his wife. Other Capitol Hill sources were clear that he must have done something else to cause House Speaker Paul Ryan to insist he resign immediately.

At 60, Franks appears an unlikely victim of the same charges that finished the careers of Democratic Sen. Al Franken and Rep. John Conyers. A conservative on issues from abortion to global warming, Franks is one of the two present representatives to have backed Pat Buchanan for president in 1996 (the other is Iowa’s Steve King).

In 2003, Franks and fellow Republican Rep. Butch Otter astonished conservatives when they switched their no votes on the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) to yes and thus turned defeat into passage of the biggest overhaul of Medicare since it was enacted 38 years before.

Otter, now governor of Idaho, explained he became convinced Democrats would use Republican defeat of Medicare reform as an anti-senior campaign theme. Franks later told me then-President and MMA backer George W. Bush had made him a promise that he would name Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade — the court ruling that vastly expanded access to abortion in the U.S.

“There were two good reasons I voted for Medicare expansion and they are both on the Supreme Court,” Franks told me in 2008, referring to Bush-named Chief Justice John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Bush himself has never commented on Franks’ claim and how, if true, it would have violated his long-standing insistence he would never use “litmus tests” on issues in appointing justices to the high court.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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The stunning news Thursday night that Rep. Trent Franks was resigning immediately set off speculation that a flood of other politicians might soon follow.
trent franks, paul ryan, conyers, sexual assualt
362
2017-13-08
Friday, 08 December 2017 10:13 AM
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