Six Democratic senators, all of them female, are calling upon Al Franken to resign after yet another allegation of sexual misconduct against the Minnesota senator has emerged. Earlier today, Politico reported the story of an anonymous Democratic Congressional aide who says Franken tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006, reportedly telling her, “It’s my right as an entertainer.” That was apparently the last straw for New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who wrote in a lengthy post on Facebook that Franken should resign to send message of accountability to workers and to young boys across the U.S. She writes:
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’s statement has been echoed by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), Patty Murray (D-Washington), Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire), Kamala Harris (D-California) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), all of whom are also calling on Franken to resign. Franken is currently under investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee after several women accused him of sexual harassment and groping last month, an investigation that’s been publicly supported by Franken himself.
UPDATE, 11:40 a.m.: According to NBC News, Franken’s office says he will be making some sort of announcement tomorrow, although it isn’t clear what that will be just yet. Stay tuned.
UPDATE, 2:00 p.m.: The number of Democratic senators calling on Franken to resign has now grown to 18, according to NPR, with Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), Maria Cantwell (D-Washingrton), Heidi Heitkamp (D-North Dakota), Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts), and Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) joining the six women who spoke out against Franken earlier today.