Here is where the Democratic members of the United States Senate and the two independents who caucus with them stand on the allegations of sexual assault made by Leeann Tweeden against Senator Al Franken.
Calling for Franken to resign or be expelled from the Senate
Not a single Democrat has called for Al Franken to step down or be expelled from the Senate despite photographic evidence that backs up Leeann Tweeden’s allegation that Franken groped her breasts while she was sleeping and despite her claim that Franken forced his tongue down her throat.
Senate Democrats are content to serve with a disgusting creep until the Ethics Committee investigates this photo:
Maybe they’ll call for Franken to step down after the Ethics Committee spends all of five seconds looking at the photographic evidence?
Calling for an Ethics Committee investigation
Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin said, “I am glad to see that Senator Franken immediately apologized. This kind of behavior isn’t ok whether it’s a Republican or a Democrat and I support an Ethics Committee investigation.”
Baldwin also said she is donating $20,000 her campaign received from Franken’s political action committee to a women veterans group.
Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “This kind of conduct is totally unacceptable, abhorrent and repugnant, and I think Al Franken’s apology recognizes it.”
He also said the Ethics Committee investigation must be left alone to determine what is appropriate for Franken.
Sen. Blumenthal on Sen. Franken: "This kind of conduct is totally unacceptable, abhorrent and repugnant, and I think Al Franken's apology recognizes it." https://t.co/gVlRhCxgu0 pic.twitter.com/zyNYPXvPW1— CNN (@CNN) November 16, 2017
Cory Booker, D-N.J.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey issued a statement calling the revelations “deeply troubling,” adding, “What we’ve heard must be taken seriously and I strongly believe there should be an Ethics Committee investigation into the matter.”
Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington was initially silent on Franken when asked five separate times about it. Eventually, she called Franken’s behavior “disturbing.”
Re: Al Franken – Treating all women with dignity is of paramount importance. These actions are disturbing. I support an ethics committee investigation into this matter.— Sen. Maria Cantwell (@SenatorCantwell) November 16, 2017
Ben Cardin, D-Md.
Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland declined to comment directly on Franken, saying, “The Ethics Committee deals with the conduct of the member.”
Tom Carper, D-Del.
Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware said, “The assertions, if true, are deeply troubling” and should be investigated.
Sen Carper on Franken: "The assertions, if true, are deeply troubling, they deserve to be investigated..."— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) November 16, 2017
Q: You said, 'If the allegation is true,' Senator, do you believe the woman in the article that made the claim?
Carper: "I've said my statement, you have it, that's it." pic.twitter.com/7miUhilJcX
Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada wants to hear more from Sen. Franken.
This is deeply disappointing and this type of behavior is unacceptable. I support the Ethics Committee process and investigation into this inappropriate conduct. I expect to hear more from Sen. Franken. https://t.co/stSf3pdY0a— Senator Cortez Masto (@SenCortezMasto) November 16, 2017
Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.
Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana called Franken’s actions “wrong.”
Read Joe’s statement on Sen. Franken from earlier today: pic.twitter.com/vTaHsg7fGA— Senator Joe Donnelly (@SenDonnelly) November 16, 2017
Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois said, “These types of actions are simply unacceptable.”
Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth statement on Sen. Al Franken pic.twitter.com/VcW1kZ0h6m— Brandon Richard (@BrandonLRichard) November 16, 2017
Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
Duckworth’s fellow senator from Illinois, Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, said Franken’s behavior was inexcusable.
Durbin on Franken: There is never an excuse for this behavior—ever. What Senator Franken did was wrong, and it should be referred to the Ethics Committee for review.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) November 16, 2017
Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
Gillibrand on Franken:"The allegations against Sen. Franken are deeply concerning. This kind of behavior is unacceptable & should not be tolerated anywhere in our society. There is nothing funny about it and there is no excuse for it. The Ethics Cmte deserves answers from him."— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) November 17, 2017
Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California said she is “troubled” by the press reports on Franken and that “there should be an ethics investigation and we will see where that ends up.”
Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.
New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan said of Franken, “Actions like that weren’t funny then and they aren’t funny now, and I fully support an Ethics Committee investigation.” Hassan will contribute $10,000 she received from Franken’s PAC to the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation.
Martin Heinrich, D-N.M.
Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico is “deeply troubled” by the allegations against Franken.
I am deeply troubled by the allegations against Senator Franken and I believe there should be an ethics Investigation into the matter. Sexual harassment is not a joke and must always be taken seriously.— Martin Heinrich (@MartinHeinrich) November 16, 2017
Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii
Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer “I am glad [Franken] apologized and acknowledged and called for an ethics investigation, that’s what should be happening.”
“There should be an institutional response to these kinds of allegations,” she added, calling for a “cultural change” that is “long overdue.”
Angus King, I-Maine
Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with the Democrats, said Franken’s actions were “wrong. *Period.*”
What Sen. Franken did was wrong. *Period.* This is a case that should be heard by the Senate Ethics Committee.— Senator Angus King (@SenAngusKing) November 16, 2017
Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
“This should not have happened to Leeann Tweeden,” said Sen. Al Franken’s fellow senator from Minnesota, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, in a Facebook post. “I strongly condemn this behavior and the Senate Ethics Committee must open and conduct a thorough investigation. This is another example of why we need to change work environments and reporting practices across the nation, including in Congress.”
Klobuchar was reportedly unwilling to talk to reporters about Franken.
Klobuchar among the Senate Dems who were eager to avoid reporters at all costs today in the wake of Franken revelations. https://t.co/W0wecse3oG— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 16, 2017
Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri said she was “shocked and concerned.”
Re Al Franken: I’m shocked and concerned. The behavior described is completely unacceptable. Comedy is no excuse for inappropriate conduct, and I believe there should be an ethics investigation.— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) November 16, 2017
McCaskill plans to donate $30,000 from Franken’s PAC to charity.
Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said, “The allegations against Senator Franken are serious, hurtful and should be investigated. It was the correct decision for Senator Franken to ask for an Ethics Committee investigation. I have confidence that the committee will work in a bipartisan way to investigate the allegations and I trust the process. I am also returning his donations.”
Ed Markey, D-Mass.
Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts called for a full investigation of Franken by the Ethics Committee.
Sexual harassment is intolerable, unacceptable and without excuse. We need the Ethics Committee to investigate this incident about Senator Al Franken fully.— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) November 16, 2017
Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.
Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley said, “Sexual harassment and assault are never acceptable.”
My statement on Senator Franken: pic.twitter.com/Jjfba2BLx0— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) November 16, 2017
Gary Peters, D-Mich.
Michigan Sen. Gary Peters called for an investigation while calling the allegations “deeply disturbing.”
My statement on Senator Franken pic.twitter.com/ikJ1si40MS— Senator Gary Peters (@SenGaryPeters) November 16, 2017
Jack Reed, D-R.I.
Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island said, “We can’t just look away from these types of incidents.”
Sexual harassment & assault are unacceptable & must not be tolerated. Ethics Committee will investigate the troubling allegations regarding Sen. Franken’s conduct. We must all work to change the culture that has too often enabled or permitted sexual harassment & assault. pic.twitter.com/xuQpKAZZnw— Senator Jack Reed (@SenJackReed) November 16, 2017
Debbie Stabenow, D-Wis.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Wisconsin called the allegations “serious” and called for an ethics investigation.
The allegations against Senator Franken are serious and unacceptable. There should be an ethics investigation.— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (@SenStabenow) November 16, 2017
Mark Warner, D-Va.
Sen. Mark Warner said he was glad that his colleague would cooperate with an ethics investigation.
Statement on Senator Franken: pic.twitter.com/VC8iic8Edc— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) November 16, 2017
Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts called Franken’s behavior “unacceptable and deeply disappointing,” adding, “We’re not going to fix the problems of sexual harassment and assault until men take responsibility for their actions and change their behavior.”
Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon called the allegations “serious.”
The allegations against Sen. Franken are serious. Harassment in any setting is clearly unacceptable. The Ethics Committee should investigate this matter.— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) November 16, 2017
Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
Sen. Bernie Sanders — an Independent socialist who caucuses with Democrats — “agreed” with the calls for an investigation.
Bernie Sanders statement on Al Franken pic.twitter.com/GrEIdl5J88— James Tennent (@duckytennent) November 16, 2017
Donating Franken's PAC money
Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio
The campaign of Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio will give up $28,100 in donations from Sen. Al Franken’s PAC to “various charities around Ohio.”
Bob Casey, D-Pa.
Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania is donating $10,000 from Franken’s PAC.
Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chair of the Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee, was initially silent, but later said that his committee would review Franken’s status as a fundraiser “right away.”
Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the DSCC, told me the campaign committee would "right away" review whether to continue using Al Franken as a fundraiser and return his cash.— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 16, 2017
John Tester, D-Mont.
Sen. John Tester of Montana is donating $25,000 he received from Franken’s PAC.
What Al Franken did was inappropriate and unacceptable. He must be held accountable, as should anyone who treats women this way. In light of his actions, I will be donating the $25k from Franken to support the important work of @MT_CADSV.— Jon Tester (@jontester) November 16, 2017
Declined to comment
Chris Coons, D-Del.
Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware:
Senator Chris Coons on Al Franken : "As the Vice Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, I cannot comment on any matter that may or may not come before the committee.”— Alan He (@alanhe) November 16, 2017
Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.
New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen is also on the Ethics Committee and likewise refused to comment.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen on Franken: “I’m a member of the Ethics Committee so I can’t comment.”— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) November 16, 2017
Tim Kaine, D-Va.
Former vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine of Virginia said he will not judge the sufficiency of Franken’s apology and thinks the behavior is “unacceptable.”
Tim Kaine on Franken: "The sufficiency of the apology is measured by what the person thinks of it. I'm not going to judge the sufficiency of the apology but I think the behavior is unacceptable."— Paul "if true" McLeod (@pdmcleod) November 16, 2017
Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy said he was unaware of the allegations against Franken when asked. At the time this article was published, he has not issued any further statement.
I asked @SenatorLeahy about the Al Franken photo.— Mariam Khan (@MKhan47) November 16, 2017
Leahy: “I haven’t seen this at all. I’m not trying to duck your question, I just don’t know. Let me get to a computer.”
Bill Nelson, D-Fla.
Patty Murray, D-Wash.
Sen. Patty Murray of Washington scolded Franken on Twitter, but didn’t call for an investigation or give money back:
This is unacceptable behavior and extremely disappointing. I am glad Al came out and apologized, but that doesn’t reverse what he’s done or end the matter.— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) November 16, 2017
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.
Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii
Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.
When allegations of sexual assault against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore broke last week, scores of Republican Senators called for Moore to drop out of the race and some even said he should be expelled from the Senate chamber if he wins the election.
It would seem Democratic members of the senate hold their colleague to a different standard than Republicans do to their own.
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