After a seventh woman claimed inappropriate sexual advances made by Senator Al Franken, support by his Democratic colleagues dissipated with dozens calling for his resignation.
Democratic leader Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said regarding the accusations against Franken:
“Senator Franken should resign. I consider Senator Franken a dear friend and greatly respect his accomplishments, but he has a higher obligation to his constituents and the Senate, and he should step down immediately.”
Franken is scheduled to make an announcement regarding his future in the U.S. Senate on Thursday. His office stated via Twitter, “No final decision has been made and the Senator is still talking with his family.”
At this point, there is a significant expectation among senators in the Democratic caucus that Franken will step down.
Franken’s accusations include an incident of forcible kissing on a U.S.O. tour before he served in the Senate as well as multiple allegations that he groped women while posing for photographs.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, also has called for Franken to step down.
“The Democratic Party will stand up for women and for what is right,” Tom Perez, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said in a statement on Wednesday night. “Public service is a public trust. If you are a candidate for office or an elected official who has engaged in sexual misconduct, you should step aside — whether you sit in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate or the Oval Office.”
“As elected officials, we should be held to the highest standards—not the lowest,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York stated on Twitter. “The allegations against Sen. Franken describe behavior that cannot be tolerated. While he’s entitled to an Ethics Committee hearing, I believe he should step aside to let someone else serve.”
“It’s time for him to resign,” Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois stated on the matter “It just seemed that the credible charges continued. I thought it might be an isolated incident or two. It seems to be that there was a pattern of conduct.”
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(H/T: The New York Times)