Seven women Democratic Senators turned on Sen. Al Franken, demanding that he resign from his position after another woman accused him of inappropriate behavior.
Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Mazie Hirono, Patty Murray, Claire McCaskill, Tammy Baldwin, and Maggie Hassan all issued their demands for Franken to resign on Wednesday morning.
“We have to rise to the occasion, and not shrink away from it, even when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard. That is what this larger moment is about,” Gillibrand wrote in an over 600-word statement on Facebook.
The latest Fraken accuser, a former Democratic congressional aide, said Al Franken tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006, according to Politico.
“I’m shocked and appalled by Senator Franken’s behavior,” wrote Sen. Patty Murray on Twitter. “It’s clear to me that this has been a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a long period of time.”
The group of seven women senators made their statements in unison on Wednesday morning, although not all of the female Senate Democrats joined them. Prominent senators like Sen. Elizabeth Warren remained silent as well as Franken’s Minnesota colleague Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
Several male senators joined their colleagues, including Senators Joe Donnelly, Bob Casey, Sherrod Brown.
Others facing re-election in 2018, such as Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, did not waste time coming out against Franken.
“Al Franken should resign,” she wrote shortly.
The demands for Franken’s resignation came after TIME magazine named the women who spoke out against harassment as their “Person of the Year.”
Even Senator Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono — who previously defended Franken — turned on him and demanded that he step aside.
“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. “But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women.”
It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women,” wrote New Hampshire’s Sen. Maggie Hassan. “He should resign.”
Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin also came out against Franken.
“I believe it is best for Senator Franken to resign,” she wrote on Twitter.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, soon joined their female colleagues by calling for Franken’s resignation.
“Sexual harassment is unacceptable. I believe Senator Franken should do the right thing and resign,” Stabenow wrote.
“We must commit to zero tolerance – which is where I believe we as a country and Congress should be – and that means Senator Franken should step down,” wrote Heitkamp.
After Franken promised to address the situation in a statement on Thursday, other senators weighed in.
“Sexual harassment and misconduct are never acceptable,” wrote Sen. Michael Bennett of Colorado. “I understand Senator Franken will make an announcement tomorrow morning, and I’m confident he’ll do the right thing and step aside.”