UPDATE: Sen. Al Franken resigns fron Senate amid sexual harassme - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Sen. Al Franken resigns fron Senate amid sexual harassment claims

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U.S. Sen. Al Franken. AP photo U.S. Sen. Al Franken. AP photo

UPDATE: Senator Al Franken resigned his seat Thursday from the floor of the U.S. Senate after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.


PREVIOUS STORY: More than a half-dozen Democratic women senators on Wednesday called on their embattled colleague, Sen. Al Franken, to resign after multiple women have come forward alleging that the Minnesota lawmaker harassed them or engaged in sexual misconduct.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Kamala Harris of California, Patty Murray of Washington and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, all put out statements within minutes of each other saying it was time for Franken to go.

The calls came the day after Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat, also accused of sexual misconduct, announced he was resigning after calls from his own party to quit.

"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, a New York Democrat, wrote in a lengthy Facebook post.

"Enough is enough," she wrote. "The women who have come forward are brave and I believe them."

Franken plans an announcement on Thursday.

Moments later, McCaskill tweeted, "Al Franken should resign," while Hassan said, "It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women."

Harris tweeted that "Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere," adding, "I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down."

Hirono referred to the choice by Time magazine to name "The Silence Breakers" of the #MeToo movement as the its 2017 Person of the Year on Wednesday, in calling for Franken to quit.

By noon, Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., joined their female colleagues in saying Franken should step aside.

Multiple women have come forward in recent weeks alleging that Franken had harassed them.

In November, Leeann Tweeden, a radio news anchor in Los Angeles, accused Franken of forcibly kissing her and groping her breasts while she was sleeping in 2006, before he became a lawmaker, at a USO show for service members.

A photograph backed up her accusation.

Days later, Lindsay Menz, 33, told CNN that Franken grabbed her buttocks when they posed for a photo together in 2010.

Additional women have come forward in the weeks since with similar allegations, including one who spoke anonymously to Jezebel and described herself as a "former elected official in New England." She alleged that Franken had given her an unwanted "wet, open-mouthed kiss" on her cheek after an interview on his radio show in 2006.

A former Democratic congressional aide also told Politico that Franken tried to forcibly kiss her in 2006 after taping his radio show, telling the aide, "It’s my right as an entertainer." Franken has denied that happened.

Last month, Franken said he was "embarrassed" and "ashamed" and he apologized to supporters and the women who say he groped them — but said he "cannot speculate" if more harassment claims would surface. They did.

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