Leading Democrats have called upon the Democratic senator beleaguered by a host of sexual harassment allegations to resign. He has now announced his plan to comply.
Update: Under pressure from colleagues, Al Franken has offered his resignation, “in the coming weeks.”
Half a dozen female Democratic senators are urging Al Franken to quit in the wake of yet another sexual harassment allegation against the Minnesota Democrat. In the Atlantic, Tina Dupuy wrote today that she believed Franken’s accusers because “he groped me, too.”
Franken is accused of groping and sexually harassing multiple women by trying to forcibly kiss them. The allegations were sparked by morning news anchor Leeann Tweeden in November, prompting other women to come forward with accusations against him.
Dupuy, the former communications director for Congressman Alan Grayson, called on the Democrats to stand with women who’ve been harassed instead of defending them, alleging that he groped her waist in public in a way that she wouldn’t even let her husband do to her in public.
“It shrunk me. It’s like I was no longer a person, only ornamental,” she wrote.
Following calls for him to resign, Franken’s office stated that the senator would make a public statement on Thursday. Democratic senator Ron Wyden said he expected Franken to “announce his resignation tomorrow.”
Across social media, several Democrats, including New York senator Kristen Gillibrand, called on their disgraced colleague to step down.
“I have spent a lot of time reflecting on Senator Franken’s behavior,” Gillibrand, a staunch advocate for victims of sexual assault, wrote. “Enough is enough.”
She was swiftly echoed by Patty Murray of Washington, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Kamala Harris of California, and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire. Dick Durbin, Tammy Baldwin, Sherrod Brown, Bob Casey, and Joe Donnelly also called on Al Franken to quit.
Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez urged Franken to resign.
“Everyone must share the responsibility of building a culture of trust and respect for women in every industry and workplace, and that includes our party,” Perez wrote on Twitter. His remarks were echoed by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, who said he should “step down immediately.”