Minnesota Sen. Al Franken announced plans to resign today after multiple women accused of Franken of inappropriate sexual behavior, including nonconsensual kissing and groping. Franken has apologized in some instances and outright denied others. Yesterday, dozens of Democratic senators called on Franken to resign.
Franken said that he was shocked and upset by the allegations against him. “All women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously,” Franken said. However, he said, “some of the allegations against me are simply not true; others I remember differently.” Franken said that he had hoped to go through the Ethics Committee process but it had become clear to him that he could no longer be an effective senator to the people of Minnesota.
“I am aware of the irony that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who has preyed on underage girls is running for the Senate with the full support of his party,” Franken said in his remarks today.
Earlier this week, Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan), also accused of sexual misconduct, resigned after leading Democrats called for him to step down.
No Republican member of Congress has called on President Donald Trump to resign despite accusations of sexual misconduct from at least 16 women. Trump bragged about getting away with sexual assault on a tape recording that was released shortly before the election.
Only one Republican member of Congress (Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia) has called on U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) to step down. Farenthold used $84,000 in taxpayer money in 2014 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former aide.
Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee this week moved funds into the Alabama Senate race, backing Roy Moore, who has been accused of molesting teenage girls.
Here was former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee‘s commentary, just two days ago:
"If Al Franken is in the Senate, if John Conyers and others are staying, then why not have Roy Moore?" – @GovMikeHuckabee on Fox a few seconds ago
— Astead (@AsteadWesley) December 5, 2017