On Thursday, two more women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations — including photo-op groping and a wet, open-mouthed onstage kiss — against Sen. Al Franken (D-MN). This brings the total to six accusers, who have made themselves known beginning a few weeks ago with TV and radio host Leeann Tweeden’s claim of nonconsensual kissing and groping (with photographic proof of the latter) by Franken during a 2016 USO tour
The claims have since mounted, and Franken has said all along that he would cooperate fully with an ethics probe into himself. Well, the Associated Press reports that the Senate Ethics Committee has announced the formal opening of a preliminary inquiry into all of the sexual misconduct allegations. Via NBC News’ Frank Thorp on Twitter, the official statement includes a very meta-acknowledgement that, well, these announcements don’t usually happen at such an early stage! Yet the matter has grown unavoidable:
“While the Committee does not generally comment on pending matters or matters that may come before it, in this instance, the Committee is publicly confirming that it has opened a preliminary inquiry into Senator Franken’s alleged misconduct.”
You can read the full announcement below.