After another allegation of sexual misconduct emerged Wednesday against Sen. Al Franken, several Democratic Senators in rapid succession called for their colleague to resign.
On Wednesday morning, Politico reported that a former Democratic congressional aide said Franken tried to forcibly kiss her in 2006, three years before he became a senator. The woman said she had never met Franken before and that he followed her after a taping of his radio show:
She said she was gathering her belongings to follow her boss out of the room. When she turned around, Franken was in her face.
The former staffer ducked to avoid Franken’s lips. As she hastily left the room, she said, Franken told her: “It’s my right as an entertainer.”
Franken has been accused of sexual misconduct—primarily groping—by six other women, one of whom also accused Franken of kissing her at a taping of his radio show.
Franken denied the allegation to Politico, calling it “categorically not true.”
The story was apparently the last straw for many female senators—and, later, some of the male colleagues—who quickly called for his resignation.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand led the charge with a lengthy Facebook post. “While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn’t acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve,” she wrote.
The floodgates opened:
The calls on Franken to resign also come one day after Rep. John Conyers, also accused of sexual harassment, announced he would leave Congress immediately following growing calls for his resignation.
Update, Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 12:25 p.m.: More senators and Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez have come forward with calls for Franken to resign:
Update, Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 1:27 p.m.: Sen. Franken’s office has said he will make an announcement tomorrow. Four more senators have added their voices in the call for Franken to resign:
Update, Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 2:05 p.m.: Sen. Ron Wyden tweeted that he expected Franklin to announce his resignation Thursday. He and two other senators also expressed that it was “the right thing to do.”
One more thing
You depend on Slate for sharp, distinctive coverage of the latest developments in politics and culture. Now we need to ask for your support.
Our work is more urgent than ever and is reaching more readers—but online advertising revenues don’t fully cover our costs, and we don’t have print subscribers to help keep us afloat. So we need your help. If you think Slate’s work matters, become a Slate Plus member. You’ll get exclusive members-only content and a suite of great benefits—and you’ll help secure Slate’s future.