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The dam appears to be breaking. On Wednesday morning, for the first time, more than a dozen of Al Franken’s Senate colleagues — all Democrats — said publicly that he should resign his position.
Their comments came a few hours after Politico reported that another woman has come forward to accuse Franken of sexual misconduct. The incident occurred in 2006, after Franken had finished taping his radio show — and three years before he entered the Senate. “He was between me and the door and he was coming at me to kiss me,” the unnamed woman said. “It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked.”
That report, which followed several others detailing instances of Franken forcibly kissing women and touching them inappropriately during photo shoots, seems to have moved the senators to finally call for Franken to step aside.
Sen. Franken is now set to make an announcement on Thursday, presumably about his future in the Senate.
On Wednesday, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill said on Twitter that “Al Franken should resign.”
“It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women. He should resign,” New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan said.
“I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good senator and I consider him a friend,” Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono said in calling for Franken’s resignation. “But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women.”
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand added her name to the list of senators calling for Franken’s resignation in a Facebook post. “I have spent a lot of time reflecting on Senator Franken’s behavior,” she wrote. “Enough is enough. The women who have come forward are brave and I believe them. While it’s true that his behavior is not the same as the criminal conduct alleged against Roy Moore, or Harvey Weinstein, or President Trump, it is still unquestionably wrong, and should not be tolerated by those of us who are privileged to work in public service.”
California Sen. Kamala Harris said: “Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down.”
Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Washington Sen. Patty Murray, Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly also have now called for Franken to step aside.
Franken is already the subject of a Senate Ethics Committee investigation. He sidestepped a question about resigning his seat during a Nov. 27 press conference and said he would not speculate on what it would take for him to step down.
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