WASHINGTON (CBS13/AP) — Conservative Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks is resigning from Congress, two GOP strategists said Thursday, the third lawmaker to announce his resignation this week.

In his resignation announcement, Franks said he is under investigation by the House ethics committee “regarding my discussion of surrogacy with two previous female subordinates, making each feel uncomfortable.”

Franks was seen being comforted in the chamber by several other Republicans shortly before he left the House floor. They included Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, Alabama’s Robert Aderholt and fellow Arizonan Andy Biggs.

Asked for comment as he left the floor, Franks said, “I’ll let the statement speak for itself.”

Franks claimed he would not be able to have a fair investigation “in the midst of this current cultural and media climate,” referring to the many cases of sexual misconduct unearthed since the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Franks will be leaving Congress by the end of January.

Franks has been a member of the far-right House Freedom Caucus. He’s a staunch social conservative who sponsored House-passed legislation to make it a crime for any person to perform an abortion if the age of the fetus is 20 weeks or more.

The Republicans spoke on condition of anonymity to describe a decision they’d been told privately.

Earlier Thursday, liberal Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., announced his resignation after facing allegations of sexual harassment by at least eight women. Franken said some of those accusations were false and said he remembered others differently than his accusers did. He said he’d depart in a few weeks.

On Tuesday, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., resigned effective immediately. He also faced accusations from women of improper sexual behavior that he’s contesting.

Franks drew a sharp response from Democrats during a 2013 House committee debate when he said “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low.” He sought to clarify the comment, saying later-term abortions linked to pregnancies caused by rape are infrequent.

He’s a strong backer of President Donald Trump and has embraced some of his stances on social issues. Franks has harshly criticized some NFL players for not standing during the national anthem, calling them “arrogant and overpaid Lilliputians who dishonor America.”

Franks represents a district encompassing suburbs north and west of Phoenix. He serves on the House Judiciary and Armed Services committees.

Before winning election to Congress, he served in the Arizona legislature and founded the Arizona Family Research Institute, an organization associated with Dr. James Dobson’s “Focus on the Family.” The institute advocates for policies designed to protect children and families.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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