Summary: Senator Al Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota, will resign after numerous sexual harassment accusations.
After multiple women accused Al Franken of sexual harassment, the Minnesota Senator delivered a speech on the senate floor, announcing his resignation.
“Today I am announcing that in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate,” said Franken on Thursday. “It’s become clear that I can’t both pursue the ethics committee process and at the same time remain an effective senator for [the people of Minnesota].”
Franken, a once prominent leader in the Democratic party, was accused by multiple women of inappropriate touching. On Wednesday, a seventh and eighth accuser said that Franken had forcibly tried to kiss one woman in 2006 and grabbed another’s stomach flesh during a photo op in 2009.
Wednesday’s accusations pushed Democrats to call for Franken to resign, a move that pundits say was to prove that Democrats had the moral high ground over Republicans who are endorsing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of multiple accounts of pedophilia.
“Enough is enough,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. “We need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is OK, none of it is acceptable, and we, as elected leaders, should absolutely be held to a higher standard.”
According to PBS, Gillibrand was the first Democrat to call for Franken to step down, but once she made her statement, a flurry of other Democrats joined in with similar sentiments.
“I consider Senator Franken a dear friend and greatly respect his accomplishments, but he has a higher obligation to his constituents and the Senate, and he should step down immediately,” Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said.
Franken denied the seventh accuser’s claim. She was a former Democratic aid who said Franken had tried to kiss her after a taping of his radio show. She said that when Franken had made the attempt, he had said, “It’s my right as an entertainer.” Franken said that him stating it was his “right” to kiss someone was “preposterous.”
Franken is not the only Democrat to succumb to pressure to resign after being accused of sexual harassment. On Tuesday, Representative John Conyers of Michigan resigned after multiple accusations against him, and Representative Ruben Kihuen of Nevada is being asked to step down after Buzzfeed published a story of him allegedly propositioning a campaign worker.
But sexual harassment is not only a Democrat problem. Republicans are facing backlash for supporting Roy Moore and President Donald Trump despite the multiple sexual misconduct accusations against them. So far, there is not a GOP-movement to remove either of them.
Sexual harassment has been a much-discussed topic since The New York Times published its explosive expose about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. For decades, Weinstein used his money and influence to harass and allegedly rape dozens of women, and since his outing, numerous victims have come forward in all industries to accuse powerful men of predatory behavior.
- Democrats Call For Resignation of Al Franken
- Women Accuse US Senate Candidate Roy Moore of Sexual Indiscretions
- House Addresses Sexual Harassment Problems on Capitol Hill
- Multiple Women Accuse Democrat Congressman John Conyers of Sexual Harassment