In the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and midconduct levied against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) over recent weeks, six of his Democratic female colleagues on Wednesday called on the former comedian-turned politician to resign.
As The Hill reports:
Sen. (D-N.Y.) was the first to release a statement calling for Franken to step down.
She was quickly followed by Sens. (D-Mo.), (D-Hawaii), (D-N.H.), (D-Wash.) and (D-Calif.).
The quick statements suggested coordination from the senators, and heightened the pressure on Franken to leave the Senate. Just last week, a number of senators questioned about Franken said they were waiting for the Ethics Committee to complete its review of multiple allegations that have been raised against Franken.
Following this first wave, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) also joined the demand.
Each of the initial female senators posted Tweets calling for the resignation:
Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down.
— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) December 6, 2017
It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women. He should resign.
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— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) December 6, 2017
Al Franken should resign.
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) December 6, 2017
As elected officials, we should be held to the highest standards—not the lowest. The allegations against Sen. Franken describe behavior that cannot be tolerated. While he’s entitled to an Ethics Committee hearing, I believe he should step aside to let someone else serve.
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 6, 2017
Today, I am calling on my colleague Al Franken to step aside. I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend. But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women. (thread)
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) December 6, 2017
I’m shocked and appalled by Senator Franken’s behavior. 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.
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) December 6, 2017
In response, Franken's senate office indicated he would make a public announcement on Thursday, with "more details to follow":
Senator Franken will be making an announcement tomorrow. More details to come.
— Sen. Al Franken (@SenFranken) December 6, 2017