Senator Al Franken ResignsThe U.S. Senator from Minnesota resigned a day after over two dozen Democrat Senators called for his resignation in the wake of eight women accusing Franken of sexual harassment.
December 7, 2017
Senator Al Franken (D-MN) announced on December 7, 2017 in a speech on the
Senate floor that he has decided to resign from the U.S. Senate within the next few
weeks. He simultaneously claimed that several of the allegations were not true or
that he believed them to have occurred differently.
The pressure on Franken to resign from office grew after a seventh woman came
forward on December 6, 2017 to accuse Senator Al Franken (D-MN) of sexual
misconduct. “A former Democratic congressional aide said Al Franken tried to
forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006, three years before he
became a U.S. senator,” Politico reported. According to the former aide, Franken
told her “it’s my right as an entertainer” after she avoided his advance and left the
room. The allegation incited several Democrat Senators to call on Franken to step
down from the U.S. Senate. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was the first senate
colleague of Franken’s to publicly call for his resignation. She was joined by over two
dozen Democrat Senators and DNC Chair Tom Perez.
The first woman to speak out publicly against Senator Franken was Leeann Tweeden,
a radio news anchor with KABC in Los Angeles. Tweeden alleged that Franken forcibly
groped and kissed her during a USO Tour event in 2006. She released a photo of
Franken grabbing her chest while she was sleeping in an article published on November
16, 2017 describing the experience.
Four days later, Lindsey Menz told CNN that Franken groped her during a photo-op at
the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. The same day, two more women came forward to
Huffington Post, describing similar events. One said she was groped by Franken during
a photo-op after a June 25, 2007, event hosted by the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus
in Minneapolis. The second woman claimed Franken grabbed her butt at a 2008
Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis and propositioned her to go to the bathroom
On November 30, a fifth woman, Army Veteran Stephanie Kemplin, accused Franken of
groping her during a photo-op while Franken was on a USO Tour in 2003. The same day,
a former New England elected official told Jezebel that Franken tried to forcibly kiss her
after an interview on his progressive radio show Air America in 2006.
An 8th accuser came forward in an editorial published by the Atlantic on December 6.
Tina Dupuy accused Franken of groping her at a Media Matters party in January 2009,
after Obama’s Inauguration, when Franken had first been elected to the U.S. Senate.
senate until a 2018 election would be held. Possible choices include Rep. Keith
Ellison (D-MN), Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN), and State Attorney General
Lori Swanson.Franken’s resignation will likely make the 2018 election competitive for
Republicans, in a state where Hillary Clinton pulled off a marginal victory of less than
two percentage points against Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election.