Report: Franken will resign Thursday
A source close to Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) on Wednesday confirmed the senator will resign Thursday amid mounting allegations of sexual misconduct, Minnesota Public Radio reports.
A Democratic Party official who said they spoke to Franken ahead of the senator’s planned Thursday press conference told the station that Franken plans to announce his resignation at the event.
He added that Franken has traveled to D.C. to discuss his future with his family. The official said that Franken’s staff confirmed his decision in separate conversations.
Franken’s staff pushed back with a tweet from the Senator’s official Twitter account.
— Sen. Al Franken (@SenFranken) December 6, 2017
Dozens of Franken’s fellow Democratic senators called for his resignation earlier Wednesday after weeks of speculation about Franken’s future in the Senate.
New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand was the first of Franken’s colleagues to publicly call for his resignation after another woman came forward Wednesday accusing Franken of trying to forcibly kiss her in 2006.
“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 Facebook post.
Gillibrand’s statement was soon followed by nearly 30 other senators, a significant shift from weeks of refusals from Democrats to say whether the allegations against Franken were enough to force his ouster.
If Franken resigns, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) would have to appoint a successor. There would then be an election in 2018 for someone to serve out the remaining two years of his term.
– This report was updated at 5:30 p.m.
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