This evening house speaker Paul Ryan accepted the resignation of eight-term Republican congressman Trent Frakes, who said in a statement that he was under investigation by the house ethics committee for a "discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable." He'll resign at the end of January 2018.
For a guy who admitted to wanting to turn two of his staffers' wombs into a farm for his babies, this is one hell of a way to begin a statement:
"I have always tried to create a very warm and supportive atmosphere for every last person who has ever worked in my congressional office," he writes.
Instead of admitting he was wrong to ask two staffers to have his baby, he uses his wife's fertility issues (some of which are tragic—she had three miscarriages) and the potential for "distorted and sensationalized versions of this story" as cover.
He goes on:
I have recently learned that the Ethics Committee is reviewing an inquiry regarding my discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable. I deeply regret that my discussion of this option and process in the workplace caused distress.
We are in an unusual moment in history – there is collective focus on a very important problem of justice and sexual impropriety. It is so important that we get this right for everyone, especially for victims.
But in the midst of this current cultural and media climate, I am deeply convinced I would be unable to complete a fair House Ethics investigation before distorted and sensationalized versions of this story would put me, my family, my staff, and my noble colleagues in the House of Representatives through hyperbolized public excoriation. 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.