Thursday, December 7, 2017
Al Franken RESIGNS From Senate Over SEX MISCONDUCT Claims
Sticking around until Alabama Election to create false comparisons
A defiant Sen. Al Franken resigned on Thursday, but refused to apologize for the sexual misconduct he was accused of, claimed some of the charges were not true — and lashed out at President Trump and Roy Moore for their own allegedly sordid behavior.
“I am leaving while a man bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,” he said.
The former Saturday Night Live comic turned loudmouthed liberal lawmaker also charged that “some of the allegations against me are not true. Others I remember very differently.”
He described himself as “a champion of women,” but acknowledged that “all women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously,” before saying he would leave the Senate in the “coming weeks.”
But he vowed to remain active politically as a private citizen.
“I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice. I will continue to stand up for the things I believe in as a citizen and as an activist,” he said.
The Republican party continues to support Moore, who has also been endorsed by Trump, despite multiple allegations of sexual misconduct lodged against him.
At least eight women have accused him of sexual harassment or assault, including two who charge that he groped them when they were minors and he was a local prosecutor in his 30s. Moore denies the charges.
The Minnesota Democrat also made reference to the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which Trump brags about grabbing women by the genitals and forcibly kissing them. Trump dismissed his remarks as “locker room talk.”
The president has also been accused of inappropriate sexual behavior or worse by at least a dozen women.
The clearly reluctant Franken was essentially forced to give up his seat after a growing tsunami of sexual misconduct and assault charges prompted even his Democratic colleagues to abandon him.
Franken’s support collapsed Wednesday after another woman accused him of forcibly trying to kiss her.
“Enough is enough,” said a fed-up Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Democratic Sens. Kamila Harris of California, Marie Hirono of Hawaii, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota agreed, and also called for the accused creep to go.
After the initial accusations became public, Franken said he would stay in office and work to regain the confidence of the citizens of Minnesota.
Politico reported that a congressional aide said Franken had tried to forcibly kiss her in 2006, before he was elected to the Senate. Franken denied the allegations, the website said.
If Franken leaves, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, would appoint someone to take his place, meaning the party would not risk losing the seat for now. Republicans hold a 52-48 majority in the Senate.
Politico reported that Dayton was expected to appoint Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to the position if Franken resigned. She would hold the seat until a special election in 2018.
Pressure built throughout the day Wednesday for Franken to step down.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called him immediately after the Politico story appeared and said he needed to relinquish his Senate seat, according to a person familiar with the events. Schumer also had a meeting at his apartment with Franken and his wife, urging the senator to step down.
Franken apologized for his behavior after earlier accusations and said he would cooperate with a Senate Ethics Committee investigation.
The Republican Party, meanwhile, continues to support Moore, who has also been endorsed by Trump, despite multiple allegations of sexual misconduct lodged against him.
At least eight women have accused Moore of sexual harassment or assault, including two who charge that he groped them when they were minors and he was a local prosecutor in his 30s.