Sen. Franken announces resignation from Senate

FILE - In this July 12, 2017, file photo, Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington. Two women are alleging, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, that Franken touched their buttocks during events for his first campaign for Senate. The women spoke to Huffington Post on condition of anonymity. The women said the events were in Minneapolis in 2007 and 2008. Franken said in a statement, "It’s difficult to respond to anonymous accusers, and I don’t remember those campaign events.” (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is resigning amid multiple sexual misconduct allegations.

Once a rising star in the Democratic Party, Franken made the announcement in a speech Thursday on the Senate floor.

“I may be resigning my seat, but I’m not giving up my voice,” Franken said. “I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office.”

The two-term lawmaker has repeatedly apologized as several women stepped forward to accuse him of sexually inappropriate behavior, from groping to forcibly trying to kiss them.

“Let me be clear, I may be resigning my seat but I am not giving up my voice. I will continue to stand up for the things I believe in as a citizen and as an activist,” he said.

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But a fresh allegation on Wednesday unleashed a torrent of Democratic demands that Franken step aside. Female senators led the chorus.

Franken is an actor who appeared on “Saturday Night Live” and an author who narrowly won his Senate seat in 2008 after a prolonged vote count. He has been a fierce opponent of the Trump administration.

His political fall has been swift by congressional standards. The first allegation surfaced on Nov. 16.

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