When sexual misconduct allegations against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) first surfaced publicly three weeks ago, the senator initially offered an inadequate answer to questions, but soon after he tried to respond more responsibly and welcomed an investigation from the Senate Ethics Committee. His career, it seemed, wasn’t necessarily over.
It wasn’t long, however, before other women came forward. Politico published a piece this morning with claims from an unnamed former Democratic congressional aide, who said Franken “tried to forcibly kiss her” after a taping of his radio show in 2006. Soon after, the Minnesotan’s political support evaporated.
More than a half dozen Democratic women senators on Wednesday called on their embattled colleague, Sen. Al Franken, to resign after multiple women have come forward alleging that the Minnesota lawmaker harassed them or engaged in sexual misconduct.
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Kamala Harris of California, Patty Murray of Washington and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, all put out statements within minutes of each other saying it was time for Franken to go.
Since that NBC News piece was published, the total number of Democratic senators calling for Franken’s resignation grew to 18 – and counting.
If it sounds like Franken’s political career is coming to an end, that’s because it is.
The senator’s office alerted the press about an hour ago to the fact that Franken “will be making an announcement tomorrow.” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, his fellow Minnesota Democrat, issued a statement through her office that said, “Senator Klobuchar personally spoke with Senator Franken this morning. As has been reported, he will be making an announcement tomorrow morning.”
Given the circumstances, it’s likely Franken told Klobuchar he’s stepping down.
If that’s the case, he’ll be the first senator to resign in the face of scandal since then-Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) in 2011.