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Sen. Al Franken announces resignation date

U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has announced that he will resign Jan. 2. Franken was accused of sexual misconduct by several women.. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Sen. Al Franken’s office told WCCO-TV on Wednesday that the Minnesota Democrat plans to resign from his office on Jan. 2.

What happened?

Franken announced earlier this month that he intended to resign from the Senate after multiple women accused him of groping them without their consent.

Radio host Leeann Tweeden, the first woman to publicly accuse Franken of misconduct, said he sexually harassed her while they were both part of a 2006 USO tour. Tweeden made public a picture of Franken appearing to grope her breasts while she slept.

In remarks on the Senate floor earlier this month, Franken called himself “a champion of women” and said there was irony in his resignation as President Donald Trump sits in the White House and Roy Moore ran for Senate in Alabama. Both men have also faced allegations of sexual misconduct. Moore, who was accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl, later lost the Alabama election to Democrat Doug Jones, although he has thus far refused to concede the race.

Franken’s initial hesitation to announce the exact date he would resign fueled speculation he would reverse course and attempt to stay in the Senate by painting his actions as less egregious than Trump’s alleged behavior.

Who will replace Franken?

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has selected Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to replace Franken. Dayton and Smith are both members of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, a state party affiliated with the national Democratic Party.

Smith, a former Planned Parenthood vice president, will reportedly be sworn in the day after Franken resigns.

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