Franken releases new assertion, requires ethics investigation of himself

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Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenOverevening Tech: Senate panel subpoenaed ex-Yahoo chief | Twitter offers all customers 280 characters | FBI cannot entry Texas shooter’s cellphone | EU desires tax solutions from Apple Week forward: DHS nominee heads earlier than Senate | Ex-Yahoo chief to testify on hack | Senators dig into election safety Feinstein: Sessions ought to re-testify on Russia conferences MORE (D-Minn.) is asking for an ethics investigation into his personal conduct after a lady accused him of kissing and groping her with out consent.

Franken in an expanded badertion on Thursday apologized for the incident, during which he groped tv host and sports activities broadcaster Leeann Tweeden whereas she was asleep on a navy aircraft throughout a 2006 USO tour.

“I understand why we need to listen to and believe women’s experiences,” he mentioned. “I am asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I will gladly cooperate.”

In a bit on KABC, Tweeden revealed a photograph of Franken groping her bads whereas they have been each on a USO tour. She additionally wrote that Franken forcibly kissed her whereas they have been rehearsing a sketch for a efficiency. 

Franken initially issued a quick, three-sentence badertion, during which he mentioned he did not bear in mind the rehearsal for the skit “in the same way.”

In that badertion, he wrote that he despatched “my sincerest apologies to Leeann,” and mentioned he shouldn’t have taken the photograph, which he described as “clearly intended to be funny.”

The second badertion got here after Franken confronted criticism from throughout the political spectrum that his first badertion didn’t signify an actual apology.

“The first and most important thing—and if it’s the only thing you care to hear, that’s fine—is: I’m sorry,” he wrote within the new badertion. 

“I respect women.  I don’t respect men who don’t,” Franken continued. “And the fact that my own actions have given people a good reason to doubt that makes me feel ashamed.”

Franken doubled down on his declare that he doesn’t bear in mind the rehearsal for the skit “in the same way” as Tweeden.

But he mentioned Tweeden “deserved to be heard.”

“The truth is, what people think of me in light of this is far less important than what people think of women who continue to come forward to tell their stories,” Franken mentioned. “They deserve to be heard, and believed. And they deserve to know that I am their ally and supporter. I have let them down and am committed to making it up to them.”

Franken has come beneath intense criticism from his personal colleagues, lots of whom additionally referred to as for an ethics investigation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell expects Paul to return to Senate subsequent week Former Hill employees requires obligatory harbadment coaching Gaming the chances of any GOP tax invoice getting signed into regulation MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump is correct: The visa lotto has obtained to go Schumer predicts bipartisan help for pbading DACA repair this yr No room for amnesty in our authorities spending invoice MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemocratic Homeland Security members request extra DHS nominee testimony Senate panel delays vote on Trump’s Homeland Security decide Steve Israel: ‘We had a better time at the DMZ than we’re going to have tonight’ MORE (D-Mo.) have referred to as for an investigation into the allegations.

The controversy can be erupting as Democrats have skilled their hearth on Alabama Senate GOP candidate Roy Moore, who’s battling accusations of badual misconduct, together with badault, introduced by plenty of girls. The accusers say that Moore pursued them once they have been youngsters and he was in his 30s.

McConnell has mentioned Moore will face an instantaneous ethics investigation if elected.

The accusations in opposition to Franken additionally come amid a push to fight badual harbadment on Capitol Hill. 

On Wednesday, two feminine lawmakers launched the Member and Employee Training and Oversight On Congress (ME TOO Congress) Act, which might overhaul how Congress offers with such allegations.

At a listening to on Tuesday, feminine lawmakers got here ahead with their very own tales about being harbaded.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), who’s spearheading the invoice with Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandAfter Texas capturing, lawmakers query whether or not navy has systemic reporting downside Senators push obligatory badual harbadment coaching for members, employees CNN to air badual harbadment Town Hall that includes Gretchen Carlson, Anita Hill MORE (D-N.Y.), mentioned on the listening to that two present lawmakers have been accused of badual harbadment, however declined to determine them out of concern for the victims.

“Over the last few months, all of us—including and especially men who respect women—have been forced to take a good, hard look at our own actions and think (perhaps, shamefully, for the first time) about how those actions have affected women,” Franken’s badertion Thursday mentioned.

Here is Franken’s badertion in full:

“The very first thing I need to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everybody else who was a part of that tour, to everybody who has labored for me, to everybody I signify, and to everybody who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of ladies.  There’s extra I need to say, however the first and most necessary factor—and if it is the one factor you care to listen to, that is wonderful—is: I am sorry.

 “I respect girls.  I do not respect males who do not.  And the truth that my very own actions have given folks a great cause to doubt that makes me really feel ashamed.

“But I need to say one thing else, too. Over the previous few months, all of us—together with and particularly males who respect girls—have been compelled to take a great, onerous take a look at our personal actions and badume (maybe, shamefully, for the primary time) about how these actions have affected girls.

“For occasion, that image. I do not know what was in my head once I took that image, and it does not matter. There’s no excuse. I take a look at it now and I really feel disgusted with myself. It is not humorous. It’s utterly inappropriate. It’s apparent how Leeann would really feel violated by that image. And, what’s extra, I can see how thousands and thousands of different girls would really feel violated by it—girls who’ve had related experiences in their very own lives, girls who worry having these experiences, girls who look as much as me, girls who’ve counted on me.

“Coming from the world of comedy, I’ve informed and written lots of jokes that I as soon as thought have been humorous however later got here to comprehend have been simply plain offensive. But the intentions behind my actions aren’t the purpose in any respect. It’s the impression these jokes had on others that issues. And I am sorry it is taken me so lengthy to return to phrases with that.

“While I do not bear in mind the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I perceive why we have to take heed to and consider girls’s experiences.

“I’m asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken, and I’ll gladly cooperate.

“And the reality is, what folks consider me in gentle of that is far much less necessary than what folks consider girls who proceed to return ahead to inform their tales. They should be heard, and believed. And they should know that I’m their ally and supporter. I’ve allow them to down and am dedicated to creating it as much as them.”

 

This breaking information report was up to date at 1:18 p.m.

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