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Franken Resigning Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

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Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) arrives for a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 29, 2017. A half-dozen Democratic senators, all women, called for Franken's resignation on Dec. 6 after a sixth woman came forward to charge that he had made an improper advance on her. - AL DRAGO/THE NEW YORK TIMES
  • Al Drago/The New York Times
  • Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) arrives for a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 29, 2017. A half-dozen Democratic senators, all women, called for Franken's resignation on Dec. 6 after a sixth woman came forward to charge that he had made an improper advance on her.

By YAMICHE ALCINDOR and NICHOLAS FANDOS
© 2017 New York Times News Service

Keywords: Crime And Criminals; Democratic Party; Discrimination; Ethics And Official WASHINGTON — Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., announced Thursday he would resign "in the coming weeks” from the Senate after his support among Democrats crumbled, becoming the highest-profile casualty in the growing list of lawmakers felled by charges of sexual harassment or indiscretions.

“I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,” Franken said.

Nearly all of the Senate’s Democratic women — and most Democratic men, including the Senate’s top two Democrats — called for Franken to resign after a sixth woman came forward to charge that he had made an improper advance on her.

“Enough is enough,” declared Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.

The accusations against Franken include an episode of forcible kissing on a USO tour before he was elected and several allegations that he groped women as he posed with them for photographs.

“This decision is not about me,” he said Thursday. “It is about the people of Minnesota.”

Over the last three weeks, Franken has repeatedly apologized for his behavior, although he has also challenged some of the accusations of impropriety lodged against him. Until Wednesday, he had said he would remain in his job and work with a Senate Ethics Committee investigation of his case.

But his Democratic colleagues in the Senate made clear Wednesday that his apologies and admissions were not enough.