In a speech on the Senate floor Thursday, Franken announced that he “will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate.”
“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. Nevertheless, today I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate,” Franken said.
The comedian-turned-lawmaker added that “some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember very differently.”
He also used his speech to acknowledge what he called the “irony” that he’s “leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office.”
Facing mounting sexual misconduct allegations and calls from his own party to step down, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) announced on Thursday that he will resign from Congress, becoming the latest member of Congress to fall following accusations of inappropriate behavior.
“Serving in the United States Senate has been the great honor of my life,” Franken said. “Today, I am announcing that in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate.”
Ahead of Franken announcing plans to step down, several Democratic lawmakers called for the comedian-turned-lawmaker to resign after another woman stepped forward and claimed that the Minnesota senator tried to forcibly kiss her — an accusation that rang eerily similar to radio host and former model Leeann Tweeden’s first bombshell claim that Franken gave her an unwanted kiss during a rehearsal.
By noon on Wednesday, six female Democratic lawmakers — Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), and Patty Murray (Wash.) — had all demanded Franken leave Congress:
It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women. He should resign.
— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) December 6, 2017
Al Franken should resign.
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) December 6, 2017
As the accusations against Franken continued to pile up, the senator released numerous apologizes before ultimately stepping down this week. “I’ve met tens of thousands of people and taken thousands of photographs,” Franken wrote in a statement before he returned to Congress in November. “I’m a warm person; I hug people.”
Franken explained that he’s “learned from recent stories” that his behavior during some of those encounters “crossed a line for some women — and I know that any number is too many.”
The Minnesota senator joined Congress following a successful career in comedy, which included a stint on “Saturday Night Live,” in 2009. He was re-elected to a second term in 2014.