On Tuesday, we covered the ever-evolving saga of Democratic Senator Al Franken and the sexual misconduct allegations against him. After seven women came forward and accused him of sexual misconduct, and numerous female senators spoke out in opposition, demanding he resign, he has finally made it official. He will resign.
In a press conference he held Thursday, Franken announced that he would be resigning “in the coming weeks” after he lost a substantial amount of Democratic and constituent support.
“I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate,” he said.
“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 of his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office,” he added. Even during his press conference, he couldn’t stop himself from taking a dig at President Trump.
The rapid rise and fall of Franken came to a head yesterday after dozens of female Democratic senators took to social media to express their disdain for the situation and demanded Franken resign.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand published a Facebook post asking Franken to resign from the Senate.
“While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn’t acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve,” she wrote.
Franken claimed his decision to resign was not about him but the people he represented. “This decision is not about me,” he said Thursday. “It is about the people of Minnesota.”
The comedian-turned-politician acknowledged there were incidents in which he was overly aggressive towards women. Numerous women alleged he had groped them. He apologized for his inappropriate actions, but his apology didn’t make much of a difference in public opinion.
Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii soon followed her fellow Democratic senators by calling out Franken in a Twitter post. “Today, I am calling on my colleague Al Franken to step aside,” she wrote. “I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend. But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women.”
Frank’s resignation means Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton will be taking his seat. His apologies never seemed to hit home, and Senate leaders from both parties were seemingly tired of his attempts to rectify his wrongs.