Gillibrand calls on Franken to resign
Says Minn. senator’s alleged behavior ‘cannot be tolerated’
In a sharply worded rebuke of a fellow lawmaker, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) called on Al Franken to resign after another woman came forward to charge the Minnesota senator of forcibly kissing her.
To date, seven women have alleged that Franken, a two-term senator, either groped them or forcibly kissed them.
Gillibrand made it clear in a statement on Twitter that she had heard enough.
“As elected officials, we should be held to the highest standards — not the lowest. The allegations against Sen. Franken describe behavior that cannot be tolerated. While he’s entitled to an Ethics Committee hearing, I believe he should step aside to let someone else serve,” she wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
Franken is set to make an announcement on Thursday, The Washington Post reported. There is a great deal of speculation on Capitol Hill that he will announce that he is stepping down.
Gillibrand was one of several Democratic senators calling on Franken to resign
The Post reported that the other Democratic senators demanding Franken’s ouster are Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Maggie Hassan (N.H.), Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.) Patty Murray (Wash.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Robert P. Casey Jr. (Pa.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Dick Durbin (Ill.).
The calls for Franken to resign took place on the same day Time magazine announced that its Person of the Year for 2017 is the #MeToo movement, in which women speak out about the sexual harassment they have faced.
The cover of Time features photos of actress Ashley Judd, singer Taylor Swift and other women who have been victims and who have spoken out. The magazine identifies them as “The Silence Breakers.”
Franken’s troubles are also occurring six days before Alabama voters go to the polls on Dec. 12 to select a new U.S. senator. The Republican candidate, Roy Moore, has been accused by at least five women of sexual abuse, including one woman, Leigh Corfman, who said she was 14 years old at the time of the incident.
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