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Lifestyles
Sen. Al Franken Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations
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Sen. Al Franken Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Sen. Al Franken Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Photo Credit: Senator Al Franken, a Democrat from Minnesota, listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Jeff Sessions, U.S. attorney general, not pictured, in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. Sessions told senators he won't answer questions about his conversations with President Donald Trump over the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Al Franken Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Facing a surge of pressure from his female counterparts in the Senate, Sen. Al Franken has resigned amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. Franken, a Democratic junior senator from Minnesota, announced his resignation in an appearance on Thursday. He has been accused of inappropriately touching seven women, including Leeann Tweeden, a morning news anchor on KABC radio in Los Angeles, who alleged last month that Franken groped and forcibly kissed her during a USO tour in 2006, before he became a senator. Tweeden, who released a photo of the former Saturday Night Live star apparently grabbing her breasts while she was sleeping, said she accepted Franken’s subsequent apology and didn’t think he had to step down. But as more women came forward with misconduct allegations against Franken, 66, the Senate Ethics Committee launched an investigation into the second-term senator. On Wednesday, a seventh woman, a former Democratic congressional aide, alleged that Franken tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006. Franken has repeatedly apologized for his inappropriate behavior, which he said was unintentional but “crossed a line” for some women. Early on Wednesday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand became the first of Franken’s fellow Senate Democrats to call for him to step down. “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,” Gillibrand wrote in a Facebook post. Her call was soon echoed by at least seven other female Democratic senators, including Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Patty Murray of Washington, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Kamala Harris of California, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. Several male Democratic senators also called for Franken’s resignation on Wednesday, including Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania. “I have listened to them. I have listened to my female colleagues, to women I work with and women in my life,” Brown said. “And I agree the time has come for Senator Franken to step aside.”

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