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
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 75°
Robinson
Scattered Clouds
73° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 73°
Indianapolis
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 72°
Rockville
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 68°
Casey
Few Clouds
74° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 74°
Brazil
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 75°
Marshall
Scattered Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 75°
Sunny and Nice
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

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

Confirmed Cases: 185993

Reported Deaths: 7742
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1077444902
Lake12223440
DuPage11689513
Kane9336298
Will8729340
Winnebago3704127
St. Clair3696156
McHenry2991114
Madison226673
Kankakee169868
Rock Island161532
Champaign157619
Peoria139935
Unassigned1365197
Kendall129523
Sangamon105733
DeKalb87129
Boone73923
Jackson65819
McLean58415
LaSalle57720
Macon50223
Adams4545
Randolph4357
Coles41119
Tazewell4068
Ogle3835
Clinton35317
Williamson3445
Stephenson3216
Whiteside32016
Union30521
Grundy2875
Monroe28413
Knox2651
Iroquois2509
Vermilion2182
Henry2081
Morgan2056
Cass20311
Jefferson19117
Warren1840
Bureau1542
Lee1482
Montgomery1477
Macoupin1423
Marion1400
Franklin1340
McDonough13315
Perry1261
Effingham1191
Christian1174
Jo Daviess1161
Saline1151
Woodford1063
Douglas1032
Livingston962
Pulaski910
Logan870
Jersey731
Mercer733
Clark700
Shelby631
Moultrie620
White600
Johnson590
Washington590
Fayette583
Bond572
Jasper557
Piatt510
Wayne501
Menard490
Cumberland472
Carroll463
Gallatin450
Lawrence430
Mason430
Ford421
Alexander360
Hancock351
Massac340
Wabash330
De Witt310
Crawford290
Fulton280
Edgar260
Hamilton230
Marshall220
Greene210
Hardin170
Schuyler170
Clay150
Edwards140
Richland140
Brown130
Pike130
Scott110
Henderson90
Putnam90
Calhoun80
Pope80
Stark70
Out of IL00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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

Confirmed Cases: 69255

Reported Deaths: 2996
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15029724
Lake7139273
Elkhart463077
Allen3662158
St. Joseph320379
Hamilton2543104
Hendricks1774105
Vanderburgh176312
Cass17549
Johnson1667118
Porter120939
Tippecanoe111811
Clark110945
Madison86265
LaPorte84329
Howard82465
Kosciusko82213
Bartholomew74847
Marshall74422
Floyd71845
Monroe69530
Delaware65452
Boone64446
Dubois64312
Noble63729
Hancock62838
Jackson5544
LaGrange54610
Warrick52830
Shelby52226
Vigo50910
Grant50729
Dearborn47328
Morgan43732
Henry36418
Clinton3603
White34710
Montgomery34221
Wayne33410
Lawrence33127
Decatur31832
Harrison30022
Miami2592
Scott25210
Daviess24919
Greene24034
Putnam2338
Franklin22911
DeKalb2214
Jennings21312
Jasper2102
Gibson2024
Steuben2013
Ripley1907
Perry17212
Orange16424
Starke1647
Fayette1627
Wabash1613
Posey1600
Jefferson1522
Carroll1482
Whitley1486
Fulton1472
Knox1340
Wells1342
Huntington1193
Tipton1176
Washington1171
Spencer1123
Newton11110
Randolph1074
Clay1015
Adams822
Owen821
Jay810
Rush804
Sullivan781
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain642
Benton600
Blackford552
Ohio514
Parke481
Pike470
Crawford440
Switzerland430
Martin420
Vermillion420
Union330
Warren191
Unassigned0202