Franken announces resignation from Senate amid allegations

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken said Thursday he will resign from Congress in coming weeks following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations

Posted: Dec 7, 2017 12:33 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken said Thursday he will resign from Congress in coming weeks following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations and a collapse of support from his Democratic colleagues, a swift political fall for a once-rising Democratic star.

“I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice,” Franken said in the otherwise-hushed Senate chamber.

Franken quit just a day after new allegations brought the number of women alleging misconduct by him to at least eight. Wednesday morning, one woman said he forcibly tried to kiss her in 2006, an accusation he vehemently denied. Hours later, another woman said Franken inappropriately squeezed “a handful of flesh” on her waist while posing for a photo with her in 2009.

“I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator — nothing — has brought dishonor on this institution,” Franken declared Thursday.

Franken, the former comedian who made his name on “Saturday Night Live,” had originally sought to remain in the Senate and cooperate with an ethics investigation, saying he would work to regain the trust of Minnesotans.

“Some of the allegations against me are simply not true,” Franken said Thursday. “Others I remember quite differently.” Still, he said he could not both cooperate with an investigation and fully carry out his duties to his constituents.

Franken had gained respect as a serious lawmaker in recent years and has even been mentioned in talk about the 2020 presidential campaign.

His resignation means Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, a fellow Democrat, will name a temporary replacement. The winner of a special election in November would serve through the end of Franken’s term in January of 2021. Among the possibilities is Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, a trusted ally.

“Enough is enough,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York declared on Wednesday. “We need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is OK, none of it is acceptable, and we, as elected leaders, should absolutely be held to a higher standard.”

A torrent of Democrats quickly followed Gillibrand.

“I’m shocked and appalled by Sen. Franken’s behavior,” said Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state. “It’s clear to me that this has been a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a long period of time. It’s time for him to step aside.”

Terre Haute
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 52°
Robinson
Scattered Clouds
49° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 46°
Indianapolis
Overcast
50° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 50°
Rockville
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 47°
Casey
Broken Clouds
49° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 45°
Brazil
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 52°
Marshall
Broken Clouds
52° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 52°
Rain Likely
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 387687

Reported Deaths: 9838
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1788325439
DuPage23408608
Lake21010511
Will18807429
Kane17098348
Winnebago10463180
St. Clair8042221
Madison7264155
McHenry6545121
Champaign628529
Unassigned4784270
Peoria468073
McLean425536
Sangamon415163
Rock Island412892
Kankakee344480
Macon323453
Kendall274430
Tazewell273556
LaSalle247365
DeKalb243242
Coles197140
Adams193521
Boone190525
Williamson190561
Clinton181128
Vermilion178411
Jackson155026
Whiteside151428
Knox133119
Randolph129315
Ogle12367
Effingham12044
Marion105119
Stephenson10327
Franklin10059
Grundy9877
Morgan95624
Monroe93530
Bureau92516
Jefferson91149
Henry8627
Christian82929
Macoupin82411
Union79225
McDonough78020
Lee7542
Douglas7109
Shelby70212
Fayette68924
Livingston66210
Woodford66015
Crawford6536
Montgomery62516
Logan6074
Saline5739
Fulton5501
Jo Daviess5189
Warren5169
Bond5139
Iroquois50519
Wayne50213
Jersey47721
Cass46411
Perry45116
Moultrie4345
Carroll43012
Pike3677
Johnson3660
Lawrence3388
Richland33718
Washington3222
Clay31713
Mason3175
Hancock3144
Clark31217
Cumberland3026
Greene29515
Mercer2876
De Witt2726
White2704
Jasper26610
Piatt2570
Pulaski2451
Wabash2335
Ford20414
Menard1871
Marshall1613
Edgar15710
Massac1562
Alexander1321
Henderson1290
Hamilton1272
Brown1150
Edwards1110
Gallatin1082
Scott1070
Schuyler941
Putnam930
Stark883
Calhoun660
Hardin550
Pope421
Out of IL10

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 166564

Reported Deaths: 4194
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion26255795
Lake14627362
St. Joseph9725171
Elkhart9402142
Allen8741232
Hamilton6462117
Vanderburgh622464
Tippecanoe402416
Porter355450
Hendricks3442137
Monroe337538
Johnson3307131
Delaware314475
Clark308565
Vigo280641
Madison254796
LaPorte241464
Cass230125
Kosciusko210329
Warrick206865
Floyd188468
Howard170166
Bartholomew149058
Marshall149028
Dubois147926
Wayne145533
Grant135440
Henry134330
Boone131050
Hancock125044
Noble124535
Jackson122519
Dearborn103828
Morgan100440
Lawrence99238
Gibson95612
Clinton93516
Daviess93236
Shelby91835
Knox83910
LaGrange82815
Harrison80724
Fayette79021
Putnam78317
DeKalb78111
Posey7787
Jasper7075
Miami6905
Steuben6748
Montgomery64422
White63016
Greene58138
Adams5777
Scott55916
Decatur53339
Whitley4926
Ripley4888
Wells47311
Clay4697
Sullivan46714
Starke4608
Wabash4599
Huntington4545
Orange42525
Spencer4236
Randolph42110
Fulton3956
Washington3923
Jennings38813
Franklin38325
Perry37714
Jefferson3655
Pike36318
Jay3486
Carroll34713
Fountain3393
Tipton28523
Vermillion2761
Parke2604
Rush2544
Blackford2425
Newton24011
Owen2171
Martin2040
Pulaski1794
Crawford1651
Brown1503
Ohio1367
Union1180
Benton1110
Switzerland990
Warren921
Unassigned0236