US Senator Al Franken has decided to resign from his seat after more than half of his fellow Senate Democrats demanded his departure over multiple claims that he groped women.
Franken, a former comedian who made his name on the popular late-night comedy show 'Saturday Night Live' before turning to politics has acknowledged misconduct with at least one accuser. The 66-year-old Minnesota lawmaker apologized last month and vowed to work to regain the trust of his colleagues and voters.
But with six other women now reportedly coming forward to accuse Franken of touching them inappropriately, and the issue of sexual harassment reverberating throughout Washington, a chorus of Democratic senators said it was time for him to go. That group include a dozen female and 17 male Democrats, among them the Senate's top Democrat Chuck Schumer, who heaped major pressure on Franken by issuing a statement saying he should step down immediately.
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken has decided to step down and says he’ll resign in the coming weeks. He’s repeatedly apologized to the women who accused him of sexually inappropriate behavior, and as his support from fellow Democrats evaporated.
The Minnesota lawmaker took to the Senate floor to say, “I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice.”
He says he’ll addressing issues as an activist. Franken says he can’t go through a Senate Ethics Committee investigation and effectively represent his state at the same time.
In remarks that lasted 11 minutes, he said that, thanks to his family, “I’m going to be just fine.”
He says some charges against him are untrue and that he remembers other differently than his accusers do.
But he says, "Women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously.”