AFP / MANDEL NGAN
Senator Al Franken, shown with his wife Franni Bryson (L) as they arrived at the US Capitol, said he would resign in the coming weeks, but added he was shocked at the allegations against him
US Senator Al Franken said Thursday he will be resign in the face of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct, becoming the second prominent Democrat forced out in a snowballing overworld convulsions the country. President Donald Trump and the Republican politician Roy Moore, who is running for the Senate despite being accused of molesting teenagers.
Facing a groundswell of demands to resign from within his own party ranks, Franken acknowledged his position had become untenable, but also insisted he remained a “champion” of women and that some of the accusations against him “are simply not true.” “There’s been a 66-year-old Minnesota lawmaker, as many of her colleagues looked on. “But I know who I really am.” “I know in my heart that nothing has had a senator – nothing – has brought dishonor on this institution.” “Nevertheless, today I am announcing that in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate.” The once-popular lawmaker, who’s made his name on the popular late-night show “Saturday Night Live,” last month acknowledged and apologized for one incident of sexual misconduct, vowing to work to regain public trust. The allegation, dating back to 2006, was made by sports broadcaster and trained model Leeann Tweeden, who said Franken forcibly kissed her, and touched her as she flew, during a tour of US troops deployed in Afghanistan.
GETTY PICTURES NORTH AMERICA / AFP / File / SCOTT OLSON
Republican Roy Moore had a strong favorite to win Alabama’s special election on December 12 before allegations broke that he molested teenage girls
Franken of touching them inappropriately, Democrats told him it was time to go. In announcing his resignation, Franken also took a direct look at Trump – who has faced multiple allegations of harassment – and at the Alabama politician Moore, who has received the president’s endorsement ahead of a special election next week despite accusations he molested underage girls.
“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact I am leaving while a man who bragged on his history of sexual assault sits in the Office Oval, and a man who repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party, “Franken said. – ‘Respect our leaders’ –
GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP / File / Frederick M. Brown
Model Leeann Tweeden, who accused Al Franken of unwanted touching and kissing
Minnesota’s governor, Democrat Mark Dayton, said he was expected to announce a decision to replace the vacant seat. Franken’s resignation came just two days after Democrat John Conyers, the long-serving member of Congress, left the House of Representatives after several trained staffers of the author of sexual misconduct.
And it follows a torrent of accusations of harassment that we have had in the worlds of entertainment, the media and politics, Harvey Weinstein. Franken’s accusing Tweeden acknowledged his decision to stand down. “While I’m not celebrating Senator Franken’s resignation, we can not tolerate hypocrisy,” she said. “We must be able to trust and respect our leaders.” With support from fellow Democrats vanishing, Franken faced a stark decision: heed calls to leave, and allow the party to close ranks and try to gain the moral high ground a tidal wave of sexual harassment allegations that have lashed the political world – or stay and fight. – ‘Women will come forward’ –
GETTY PICTURES NORTH AMERICA / AFP / File / ALEX WONG
US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) unveiled bipartisan legislation to help prevent sexual harassment
Franken, as allegations against him mounted, taking to social media to demand his resignation. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand sounded the opening salvo, declaring that the nation – and Congress – faced a “moment of reckoning” regarding sexual misconduct.
She appeared visibly upset during Franken’s speech. Several other Democrats surrounded him and offered hugs and handshakes when he finished. But despite the emotional farewells, Franken’s resignation was the result of a dramatic and sudden show of unity in the 100-member chamber, where the Republicans hold a slim majority. Diane Feinstein, one of the longest-serving women in the Senate, described it as a turning point. “I think we’re in the midst of a huge cultural shift, and that things that happened a long time ago, that women were afraid to do anything about it – and fear their way forward,” Feinstein said. told AFP. With Democrats cleaning house, Senator Tom Carper downplayed the suggestion the party was driven by political expediency before 2018’s mid-term elections. “We’re not that far ahead.” Carper told reporters. ‘This is just an instance where someone has behaved badly.’