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Democratic Women in Senate Call on Al Franken to Resign

08 December, 2017, 01:55 | Author: Kristen Ingram
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Al Franken (D-MN) took to the Senate floor Thursday morning announcing his resignation from his Senate in the "coming weeks".

"I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice", Franken said. Some of the allegations against me simply are not true. "And that I have earned a reputation as someone who respects the women I work alongside every day". He drew attention to the continued Republican support of the president, as well as Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Franken said he was keenly aware of the "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".

It's pretty clear that Franken is resigning only under duress. CNN has not yet verified the claims in the Politico story, but Franken flatly denied the allegations int he report.

Franken's colleagues in the Senate, who initially called for the Ethics Committee to investigate the accusations, began calling this week for the senator to resign, noting that the new allegations indicated a "pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women", rather than isolated incidents.

The push for Franken's resignation started after a woman came forward last month to say he had badgered her into an unwanted kiss before he was a senator and groped her while she slept. The victor of the special election would serve out the remainder of Franken's term - until January 2021 - and face re-election in November 2020, thus restoring the six-year cycle of Senate seats.

Republicans current hold 52 seats in the chamber with Democrats andvIndependents they regularly caucus with accounting for the remaining 48 seats.

Two women told the Huffington Post that Mr Franken squeezed their buttocks at political events during his first campaign for the Senate in 2008.

In the Senate, in addition to casting what was arguably the deciding vote to pass the Affordable Care Act, Franken has focused on advocating for the rights of women.

Among other things, Franken has been accused of groping the backsides of women during photo opportunities.

"I know that I am going to have to be much more conscious when in these circumstances", he went on, "much more careful, much more sensitive, and that this will not happen again".

Franken went on to speak with media outlets in his home state of Minnesota, saying he was "embarrassed and ashamed", but hoped to regain the trust of those he let down. Voter concern over Republican mishandling of the accusations against GOP Rep. Mark Foley, who sent sexually explicit messages to underaged teenage pages, was a contributing factor in the landslide losses Republicans suffered in 2006.

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