Senator Al Franken is resigning.
Franken announced in remarks on the Senate floor Thursday morning that “in the coming weeks,” he will be resigning from the Senate.
Following an avalanche of Senate colleagues calling on him to resign in light of the latest allegation of sexual misconduct leveled against the Minnesota lawmaker, Franken said on Wednesday that he would be making an announcement.
In his speech, Franken declared that “some of the allegations against me are simply not true,” and “others I remember very differently.”
He also sure to point out the “irony” of his own resignation, given that President Donald Trump remains in the White House — despite the numerous sexual misconduct allegations made against him, as well as the Access Hollywood tape, which has Trump on record bragging about sexually assaulting women:
I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who bragged on tape about his history of the sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party. But this decision is not about me. It’s about the people of Minnesota.
In the past few weeks, seven women have come forward with allegations of groping and sexual misconduct. Leeann Tweeden was the first to share her story, and on Wednesday morning, a seventh woman came forward with this allegation:
“He was between me and the door and he was coming at me to kiss me. It was very quick and I think my brain had to work really hard to be like ‘Wait, what is happening?’ But I knew whatever was happening was not right and I ducked. I was really startled by it and I just sort of booked it towards the door and he said, ‘It’s my right as an entertainer.'”
Franken denied this allegation and called it “categorically not true.”
Late last month Franken held a press conference saying he’s “trying to take responsibility by apologizing.”
There were some calls in the past few weeks for him to resign, but the latest allegation opened the floodgates. Kirsten Gillibrand was the first Democratic senator to call on Franken to resign, followed by a number of fellow senators and DNC Chair Tom Perez.
Franken’s resignation comes on the heels of longtime Congressman John Conyers resigning after allegations of sexual harassment against him.
Watch Franken’s remarks above.
[image via screengrab]