Six female Democratic senators called for Al Franken to resign after a sixth woman accused him of unwanted advances.
So far, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Maggie Hassan, Mazie Hirono, Claire McCaskill and Patty Murray called for Franken to step aside Wednesday.
Six women senators in quick succession on Wednesday called for Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to step aside after a new accusation emerged from a woman who said the senator had sought to forcibly kiss her in a 2006 incident.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) was the first to release a statement calling for Franken to step down.
She was quickly followed by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).
The quick statements suggested coordination from the senators, and heightened the pressure on Franken to leave the Senate. Just last week, a number of senators questioned about Franken said they were waiting for the Ethics Committee to complete its review of multiple allegations that have been raised against Franken.
“While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn’t acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve,” Gillibrand said in a statement on Facebook.
“In the wake of the election of President Trump, in just the last few months, our society is changing, and I encourage women and men to keep speaking up to continue this progress. At this moment, we need to speak hard truths or lose our chance to make lasting change.”
The women calling on Franken to resign include the third-ranking Democrats in the Senate and possible 2020 hopefuls in Gillibrand and Harris.
“Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down,” Harris said in her statement.
The calls also come a day after Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) resigned from the House amid his own sexual harassment controversy.
More allegations also emerged Wednesday, with a woman accusing Franken of forcibly trying to kiss her – this time after a taping of his radio show in 2006.
The woman, who spoke to Politico, claims the Minnesota Democrat pursued her after her boss had left and she was collecting her things. The woman was in her 20s at the time.
The accuser, who was not identified, said Franken tried to kiss her but that she ducked. Franken, a former “Saturday Night Live” performer who was a host on the now-defunct “Air America” radio network at the time, allegedly followed up by telling her it was his “right as an entertainer.”
“He was between me and the door and he was coming at me to kiss me,” she told Politico. “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.
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