Six Democratic women Senators call on Franken to step down in the wake of sexual harassment allegations pic.twitter.com/l0D5DmYwvt
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 6, 2017
Hours after a seventh woman accused Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) of sexual assault (which he promptly denied), many of his Senate and party colleagues began calling for his resignation. What’s more, the multiple calls for Franken’s resignation — which were apparently instigated in a Facebook post by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) — have largely come from female politicians. “While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review,” she wrote, “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.”
According to NBC News, six more female Democratic senators have followed in Gillibrand’s footsteps and issued statements of their own calling for Franken’s resignation. Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Kamala Harris (D-California), and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) “all put out statements within minutes of each other” asking for pretty much the same thing. Along with former Fox News personality Gretchen Carlson and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), they gave a press conference to announce the statements and a new bill, “Ending Force Arbitration of Sexual Harassment.”
UPDATE #1: Shortly after these female Democratic senators announced their calls for Franken’s resignation, several of their male colleagues did the same. Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), Joe Donnelly (D-Indiana), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) issued separate tweets and statements demanding that Franken step down.
Democratic National Convention Chairman Tom Perez also joined in the growing call, saying “[e]veryone must share the responsibility of building a culture of trust and respect for women in every industry and workplace, and that includes our party.”
UPDATE #2: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) joined the growing call for Franken’s resignation with a brief Twitter statement.
UPDATE #3: According to the Associated Press, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) says he “[expects] that Senator Franken will announce his resignation tomorrow.”
UPDATE #4: CNN now reports at least 28 Democratic senators, 13 women and 15 men, have called on Franken to resign form his Senate seat.
(Via NBC News)