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Al Franken (D, Minn.) is being pressured by Democrats to resign from the United States Senate after a 7th woman stepped forward to claim Franken sexually assaulted her.
Franken is accused of groping and then forcibly kissing the woman without her consent.
The story breaks on a day that #MeToo, a campaign to illuminate sexual violence in America, was given honors in Time Magazine.
As many as 11 new Democrats in Congress are speaking out against Franken.
More from Real Clear Politics:
A chorus of Democratic senators urged Sen. Al Franken to resign Wednesday morning after another accusation of sexual misconduct against the Minnesota lawmaker.
Well over a dozen senators, including 11 women, called on Franken to leave office, with several saying the allegations showed a clear pattern of inappropriate behavior. In the weeks since the first accusations emerged – for which Franken apologized — Democrats had not urged him to step down, instead supporting an ethics investigation into the matter. But a new allegation Wednesday morning appeared to open the door for the resignation wave.
“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,” Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, said in a statement.
Franken’s office, contacted for a response, said the senator will make an announcement on Thursday. There was no further elaboration.
The other female senators calling for his resignation were Maria Cantwell of Washington, Dianne Feinstein of California, Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Kamala Harris of California, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Patty Murray of Washington. Murray is the third-ranking Democrat in the chamber, and the highest ranking Democratic woman in the Senate.
“I’m shocked and appalled by Senator Franken’s behavior,” she said in a statement. “It’s clear to me that this has been a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a period of time. It’s time for him to step aside.”
The calls were part of a coordinated effort by the female senators, who have been discussing the path forward for their colleague. “Today’s action was a result of mounting frustrations over the increasing number of accusations,” a Senate aide told RCP. “They felt that enough is enough and now was the time to ask him to step aside.”
The writing is on the wall. Will there be a special election in Minnesota, or will another sleazy Democrat be handed the seat?