Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., announced his resignation from the U.S. Senate following several accusations of sexual harassment levelled against him in recent weeks. On the way out the door, Franken took parting shots at President Trump, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore, and the Republican Party.
On Wednesday, Democratic senators, beginning with the six female members of the Democratic caucus, called on Franken to submit his resignation and leave Congress. Today, Franken followed through with his resignation, denying the accusations but explaining that he had become marginalized by them and could not be an effective representative for the state of Minnesota.
“Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others, I remember very differently,” Franken said.
“In the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate,” he announced.
“I, off all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,” he said, referring to President Trump and Alabama Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Roy Moore.
“But this decision is not about me,” Franken explained. “It’s about the people of Minnesota. And it’s become clear that I can’t both pursue the ethics committee process and at the same time remain an effective senator for them.”
Franken said that though he is resigning from the Senate, he will not quit politics.
“I will continue to stand up for the things I believe in as a citizen and an activist,” he said.
Sexual assault accusations against Franken were first raised by Leeann Tweeden, who accused Franken in late November of forcibly kissing her and groping her on a USO tour in 2006. Franken issued an apology to her for a photograph that supported the groping accusation, but he denied a recollection of forcing Tweeden to kiss him. Multiple women later came forward to accuse Franken of sexual misconduct.
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