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Senator Al Franken to resign amid sexual misconduct claims

Senator Al Franken to resign amid sexual misconduct claims
From BBC - December 7, 2017

Democratic Senator and ex-comedian Al Franken has said he plans to quit "in the coming weeks" after string of sexual harassment allegations.

"I am proud that during my time in the Senate that I have used my power to be a champion of women," the Minnesota senator said from the US Senate floor.

His speech came a day after nearly 30 Democrats called on him to resign.

He is the most prominent lawmaker to resign amid a wave of sexual misconduct claims against high-profile figures.

"Today I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate," he told his colleagues on Thursday.

"I may be resigning my seat but I am not giving up my voice."

The former Saturday Night Live comedian and two-term senator has apologised to several women who have accused him of groping and sexual harassment, but he faced mounting pressure to resign after a new allegation emerged on Wednesday.

Democrats desert senator in grope claims

Mr Franken said some of the allegations against him "are simply are not true", but added that women "deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously".

He also referenced the sexual misconduct allegations that have been levelled against US President Donald Trump and Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

"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, and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party."

Mr Franken is not the only US politician to have found himself accused of sexual harassment in recent weeks.

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