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27 Senate Democrats Call for Franken Resignation

December 07, 2017 10:01 AM

With more than half of his Democratic colleagues in the U.S. Senate calling for him to resign, Sen. Al Franken's office says he will have an announcement on Thursday.

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Minnesota Public Radio reported that Franken plans to resign, citing comments from an anonymous Democratic official who said he spoke with both Franken and his staff. However, Franken's official Twitter account responded to the MPR report with a message saying that he had not made a final decision.

In Tweets, Facebook posts, and interviews, 27 Senate Democrats said Franken, a two-term senator, should step aside after a fresh allegation that he forcibly tried to kiss a woman in 2006.

The top Senate Democrat, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, was among those calling for Franken's resignation.  In a brief statement on Wednesday afternoon, Schumer said: "I consider Senator Franken a dear friend and greatly respect his accomplishments, but he has a higher obligation to his constituents and the Senate, and he should step down immediately."

Franken's Minnesota colleague, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, is not on the list of those calling for his resignation.  A statement from her office said Klobuchar had spoken with Franken Wednesday morning, but did not detail what she said to him.

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Michigan Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, and North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp are among the 11 women and 16 men calling for Franken's resignation.

Baldwin had previously said she supported a Senate ethics investigation into his behavior.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand wrote on social media that while 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."

The full list of Democratic Senators calling for Franken's resignation includes:

  • Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
  • Michael Bennet (D-CO)
  • Cory Booker (D-NJ)
  • Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
  • Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
  • Tom Carper (D-DE)
  • Bob Casey (D-PA)
  • Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
  • Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
  • Dick Durbin (D-IL)
  • Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Kamala Harris (D-CA)
  • Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
  • Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
  • Mazie Hironi (D-HI)
  • Maggie Hassan (D-NH)
  • Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
  • Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
  • Ed Markey (D-MA)
  • Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
  • Patty Murray (D-WA)
  • Gary Peters (D-MI)
  • Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
  • Tom Udall (D-NM)
  • Ron Wyden (D-OR)

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


WDIO

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