Al Franken resigns amid sexual misconduct allegations
Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is resigning amid multiple sexual misconduct allegations.
Once a rising star in the Democratic Party, Franken made the announcement in a speech Thursday on the Senate floor.
"I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate," Franken said during remarks on the Senate floor.
The two-term lawmaker has repeatedly apologized as several women stepped forward to accuse him of sexually inappropriate behavior, from groping to forcibly trying to kiss them.
Franken, who did not apologize during his speech, also called out President Donald Trump, who was repeatedly accused of sexual assault during his presidential campaign, and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who faces accusations that he pursued relationships with teenagers while he was in his 30s.
"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," Franken said.
A fresh allegation on Wednesday unleashed a torrent of Democratic demands that Franken step aside. Female senators led the chorus.
Lt. Gov. Tina Smith is likely to be Gov. Mark Dayton’s choice to replace Sen. Al Franken, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“A high-ranking Democratic source told the Star Tribune on Wednesday that Smith, a close ally to Dayton and longtime DFL insider, is his likeliest choice to replace Franken. Under that scenario, Smith would serve as a temporary replacement who would not run for the seat in a November 2018 special election,” the paper wrote.
Franken is an actor who appeared on "Saturday Night Live" and an author who narrowly won his Senate seat in 2008 after a prolonged vote count. He has been a fierce opponent of the Trump administration.
His political fall has been swift by congressional standards. The first allegation surfaced on Nov. 16.
The Gayly – December 7, 2017 @ 11:03 a.m. CST.