Ten Senate Democrats on Wednesday asked Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) To resign in the face of growing accusations of sexual harassment, Posing the possibility that he does. become the second legislator to step aside for recent accusations of inappropriate behavior.
In a campaign started by Democratic women, almost a dozen senators said Franken should leave Capitol Hill. Franken faces multiple accusations of inappropriate contact and unwanted advances. He has denied the intentional evil and has apologized.
In a long statement posted on Facebook, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) said she was "shocked" and "disappointed" by allegations by several women that Franken touched them inappropriately. She was joined by the Sens. Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Claire McCaskill (Missouri), Maggie Hassan (NH), Kamala D. Harris (California), Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin) and Patty Murray (Wash.), The Highest – company among the Democrats of the Senate, along with Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Robert P. Casey Jr. (Pennsylvania) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio).
"While Senator Franken has the right to have the Ethics Committee complete its review, I think it would be better for our country if it sent a clear message that any type of mistreatment of women in our society is not acceptable if we we set aside to let someone else serve, "Gillibrand wrote.
If he resigns, Franken would be the second member of Congress to step aside during a recent recount of sexual harassment on the Capitol. Facing multiple allegations of inappropriate behavior around female aides, Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) Resigned Tuesday after more than half a century in Congress.
Franken has said he will cooperate with an ongoing investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee .
In recent days, the Democratic senators had spoken privately to each other about the situation, agreeing that they could not tolerate Franken's presence as the accusations continued to leak.
"People were on the verge of patience with this, they had had enough, one more accusation was going to be," said a principal assistant, who was granted anonymity to describe the private deliberations.
A second Senate aide familiar with the conversations confirmed the private discussions among the senators.
In describing the mood among the Democratic senators, the adviser said: "It's one day …"
If Franken resigns, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (D) would choose his replacement, which would serve until the November 2018 special elections to cover the final two years of Franken's term.
This story is developing. . .
Ed O & # 39; Keefe and David Weigel contributed to this article.