Harassment claims: Franken resigns from US Senate

WASHINGTON – US Senator Al Franken said Thursday he will resign in the face of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against him, becoming the second prominent Democrat to be forced out in a week over the snowballing harassment allegations convulsing the country.

Franken – a former comedian who made his name on the popular late-night show “Saturday Night Live” – announced his decision in an emotional yet somewhat defiant address from the floor of the Senate, where dozens of his colleagues had demanded he step down.

The once-popular 66-year-old Minnesota lawmaker apologized last month after acknowledging one incident of misconduct, vowing to work to regain public trust. But with six other women now reportedly coming forward to accuse Franken of touching them inappropriately, a chorus of Democratic senators said it was time for him to go.

“Serving in the United States senate has been the great honor of my life,” Franken said, with only a handful of his colleagues in attendance.

“I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a Senator – nothing – has brought dishonor on this institution,” he added, noting he was shocked at the allegations against him, and painting himself as “a champion of women.”

“Nevertheless, today I am announcing that in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate.”

Franken also took a parting shot at Donald Trump – who himself has faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment – and at Alabama Senate hopeful Roy Moore, who has received the president’s endorsement despite being accused of molesting several teenaged girls.

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