Democrat Al Franken Resigns from U.S. Senate
Minnesota Democratic Senator Al Franken announced Thursday he will resign from the U.S. Senate following a spate of sexual harassment allegations leveled against him by several women.
In a defiant speech in which he said most of the allegations were untrue, Franken told his colleagues that nothing he has done brings dishonor to the U.S. Senate. Franken faced enormous pressure from his colleagues to resign this week. He insisted he had done nothing wrong and declared he believes the Senate Ethics Committee would clear his name.
“Over the last few weeks, a number of women have come forward to talk about how they felt my actions had affected them. I was shocked. I was upset,” he said.
“I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator, nothing, has brought dishonor on this institution, and I am confident that the Ethics Committee would agree,” Sen. Franken said from the Senate floor.
“Nevertheless, today I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate,” he continued.
He said he was shocked and upset by how several women have said his actions affected them adding that he took the accusations seriously.
“Over the last few weeks, a number of women have come forward to talk about how they felt my actions had affected them. I was shocked. I was upset,” Sen. Al Franken said.
“But in responding to their claims, I also wanted to be respectful of that broader conversation, because all women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously. I think that was the right thing to do. I also think it gave some people the false impression that I was admitting to doing things that I in fact haven’t done”
Al Franken compared his situation to that of President Donald Trump and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore who were also accused by several women of sexual misconduct but who have so far not faced any consequences as a result of the accusations.
“I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact 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 repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,” he said.
Al Franken defended his legacy as a Senator and described himself as a “champion of women.”
“I know there’s been a very different picture of me painted over the last few weeks, but I know who I really am,” he added.
“But this decision is not about me. It’s about the people of Minnesota.”
“It’s become clear that I can’t pursue the Ethics Committee process and at the same time remain an effective senator for them,” he said.
Eight women have accused Franken, a former “Saturday Night Live” writer, author and comedian. He was regarding oas a top candidate going into the 2020 presidential elections before the scandal.
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