US Senator Al Franken Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Senator Al Franken with his wife Franni Bryson, as he leaves the Capitol in Washington, after speaking on the US Senate floor on Thursday, 7 December 2017.
Senator Al Franken with his wife Franni Bryson, as he leaves the Capitol in Washington, after speaking on the US Senate floor on Thursday, 7 December 2017.(Photo: AP)

US Senator Al Franken Resigns After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

US Democratic Senator Al Franken announced his resignation on Thursday, 7 December following a string of sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Franken announced his resignation on the US Senate floor, a day after a majority of his Democratic Senate colleagues called for him to step down.

I know in my heart that nothing I’ve done as a senator – nothing – has brought dishonor on this institution. Nevertheless, today I am announcing that in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate.
Al Franken

Franken, a former comedian, was seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party before accusations surfaced three weeks ago that he had groped or tried to kiss women without their consent.

After the initial accusations were first made public, Franken said he would stay in office and work to regain the confidence of the citizens of Minnesota, which he represents in Congress.

But a majority of his Democratic Senate colleagues, including most of the party's women lawmakers in the chamber, pressed him to step down on Wednesday, 6 December after a fresh allegation hit the news. A former democratic congressional aide accused Franken of sexual misconduct that happened in 2006, Politico reported.

Franken, while announcing that he would resign, pointed out the irony that while he was stepping down, Donald Trump,“a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office.”

I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.
Senator Al Franken

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Franken, in his address on the US Senate Floor in Washington’s Capitol Hill on Thursday 7 December, added that some allegations against him were false, while he “remembered other incidents differently.”

I am proud that during my time in the Senate I have used my power to be a champion of women, and that I’ve earned a reputation as someone who respects the women I work alongside every day. I know there’s been a very different picture of me painted over the last few weeks, but I know who I really am.
Senator Al Franken

Franken is yet to announce a specific date for his resignation.

(With inputs from Reuters.)

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