Minnesota Sen. Al Franken will resign from the United States Senate “in the coming weeks” he announced Thursday, a day after a number of his Democratic colleagues called for him to step down amid mounting allegations of sexual misconduct against women.
“Today I am announcing that in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate,” Franken said on the Senate floor. “It’s become clear that I can’t both pursue the Ethics Committee process and at the same time remain an effective senator for [the people of Minnesota].”
The allegations against Franken began less than three weeks ago, with the account of a Los Angeles radio host who described his actions while the two were on a USO trip together in 2006. Though he apologized, acknowledged some wrongdoing and called for an ethics investigation to be initiated, he resisted early calls for his resignation, even after additional accusations of misconduct surfaced.
The tipping point seemed to come on Wednesday, when, in a coordinated effort, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.; Patty Murray, D-Wash.; and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., called for Franken to resign.
A host of additional Democratic legislators and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez joined the female senators in urging Franken to give up his seat.
In his speech Thursday, Franken advocated for the public to believe the accounts of women who voiced claims of sexual assault and misconduct but steadfastly continued his denial of some of the allegations against him, and at no point in his remarks did he offer an apology.
“I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator — nothing — has brought dishonor on this institution,” he said.
He contrasted the response to accusations against him to those against Donald Trump and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who, respectively, fielded and are facing similar claims during their…