After a week of unwanted attention that seemed to end with him signing on to Rep. Bill Posey’s (R-Fla.) bill to demand birth certificates from future presidential candidates, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) has released the audio and transcriptfrom the town hall where, according to the Mohave Daily News, he had talked about suing for proof of the president’s citizenship.
The real story on what Franks revealed at the town hall? He was “terrified” of Obama and “willing to go into a lawsuit,” and “did all kinds of research” that, at first, did nothing to calm him. He only saw 1961 newspaper reports of Obama’s birth “about three days before we were going to launch a lawsuit.” According to the congressman’s spokeswoman, Bethany Haley, this period of investigation and decision came before the election.
The ironic part about this is I was one of the few Members of Congress that was willing, if I could come up with a way to prove that Barack Obama was not born in this country, I was willing to go into a lawsuit. I don’t know of any other Member of Congress who was willing to do that, because I wanted to make sure that we were protecting both the Constitution and, quite frankly, I was terrified of this guy. But I wanted to do it in a way that comported with the honest evidence that I have in front of me. And so we did all kinds of research. We found all kinds of conflicting research. And we had to say, ‘Okay, I’m going to divorce myself from politics and I’m going to look at the evidence for what it is, and see what we come up with.’ And one of the things that happened, about three days before we were going to launch a lawsuit, is that we found several different newspapers that had shown that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii two years after it became a state. Now, there was no way to have forged that… I just don’t have evidence that shows me that he was not born here. Now, I know that everybody says that they’ve got it, but I’ve never seen it.
Franks posted this at RedState.com along with a frustrated rant about the media coverage he got. “My actual remarks were the exact opposite of that which was blindly repeated by countless main stream news outlets,” he wrote at the conservative site.
Indeed, the original stories suggested Franks was about to sue, not that he’d considered suing in the past. But the fact that Franks was within 72 hours of filing this before the election is more of a shock than he seems to think it is. At that point, even a frivolous lawsuit, if filed by a member of Congress, could have become a national story.