Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) will officially resign on January 2, nearly a month after the Minnesota Democrat revealed on the Senate floor that he will step aside. Numerous sexual assault allegations and pressure from his Democratic colleagues combined to force his departure.
The Senate will swear in Minnesota Lt. Gov Tina Smith on January 3; Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Smith to serve as a senator until the 2018 midterm election.
In his resignation speech, Franken claimed that several of the women accusing him of sexual assault were lying. Franken said that the accusations gave people the “false impression that I was admitting to doing things that I, in fact, haven’t done.”
Franken then turned his attention to President Donald Trump and Alabama’s senatorial candidate Judge Roy Moore who have both denied accusations of sexual assault and misconduct against them.
“I am leaving, while a man in the oval office has bragged about his sexual assault on tape,” Franken said of Trump. “While another man who has the full support of his Party,” Franken said, referring to Moore.
Female senators calling for Schumer’s ouster included Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Claire McCaskill (D-MO).
Sen. Mazie Hirono initially defended Franken, but eventually called for him to step aside.
Tina Dupuy accused Sen. Franken of sexual misconduct in a piece published by the Atlantic. Dupuy claimed that Franken groped her in 2009 at a Media Matters party during President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
Sen. Franken’s numerous sexual assault scandals first broke when Leann Tweeden, a journalist who anchors at TalkRadio 790 KABC in Los Angeles, California, accused Sen. Franken of fondling her while she slept and shoving his tongue down her throat without her consent.
“Today, I am calling on my colleague Al Franken to step aside. I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend,” she wrote Wednesday. “But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women.”
President Donald Trump reacted to the Franken’s sexual assault allegations by labeling the Minnesota senator “Al Frankenstein.”