Senator Al Franken Resignation: What Comes Next?
He maintains the allegations of sexual harassment against him are not true, but Franken bowed to pressure to step down from almost all of his fellow Democrats. Fox's Mike Emanuel Reports from Washington.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Minnesota Democratic Senator Al Franken is resigning, soon.
He maintains the allegations of sexual harassment against him are not true, but Franken bowed to pressure to step down from almost all of his fellow Democrats.
“Today I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate,” Franken said while on the Senate floor.
He took a few parting shots at two of the Left’s favorite targets: President Trump and Alabama Republican Senate candidate, Roy Moore.
“There is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who’s bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the oval office,” Franken said. “A man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls, campaigns for the senate with the full support of his party.”
Franken’s fate was all but sealed when Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said it was time for him to go.
“He did the right, he did the honorable thing,” said Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. “He spoke very strongly, very pointedly, very emotionally.”
“I had a detailed conversation with him yesterday (12/6), and offered him my thoughts about what needed to do and he did what I suggested – and he did the right thing – so I’m just gonna leave it there,” said Democratic Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.
The ball is back in the Republicans’ court and how they’ll deal with a potential Roy Moore win.
“You guys are going to have to acknowledge sooner or later, that Roy Moore has denied these things,” said Republican Senator James Inhofe of Virginia. “There’s not, the evidence. In fact, the people in Alabama, apparently, most of them are agreeing with him.”
Before heading home to Minnesota, Franken defended his behavior.
“Some of the allegations against me are simply not true,” Franken said. “Others I remember very differently.”
A final resignation date has not been set.
Sources suggest Franken will take some time to wind down his office and try and help his staff find other opportunities.
STATE LAWMAKERS REACT TO FRANKEN’S RESIGNATION
Minnesota’s senior Senator, Amy Klobuchar, worked closely with Senator Franken.
In her statement, she said he made the right decision to step down.
Klobochar said: “In every workplace in America, including the U.S. Senate, we must confront the challenges of harassment and misconduct.”
She also recognized how tough the events of the day were on Al’s wife, Franni and their children and supporters.
Governor Mark Dayton extended his deepest regrets to the women, who have had to endure their unwanted experiences with Senator Franken.
He said “As a personal friend, my heart also goes out to Al and his family during this difficult time.”
Dayton says he plans to announce his appointment to fill Franken’s seat in the next couple of days.
Fellow Democrat, and the most senior representative from Minnesota, Congressman Collin Peterson also responded.
“The behavior described in these continued allegations is out of line and unacceptable,” he said. “Senator Franken is making the right choice by resigning.”
LOCALS REACT TO FRANKEN’S RESIGNATION
MSUM students we talked with say Senator Al Franken’s decision to resign was the right move.
They say there is no place for sexual harassment in leadership roles or anywhere else in the country.
Students say it’s especially important that people like Franken realize there are consequences because it will help them to enter a safer workforce after graduation.
For some, Franken used to be a role model they looked up to.
“My immediate thoughts when I first heard about the accusation and the picture was that yes, I think he should resign,” said MSUM senior, Bryan Stanley. “As much as I love him as a senator, I don’t think there can be exceptions for that kind of behavior. I thought at first that he should resign and I’m happy that he is even though I’m disappointed.”
Students say senate candidate Roy Moore in Alabama should be the next person to quit for pursuing underage girls in the past.
An MSUM political science professor says she wasn’t surprised by Senator Franken’s resignation, but was surprised he didn’t apologize.
Barbara Headrick thinks by claiming the allegations are false or saying he remembers them a different way, it may anger some of his female allies and friends.
Headrick says in the speech, Franken tried to differentiate himself from President Donald Trump and Roy Moore, who also have allegations against them.
She says it has prompted more Democratic women to run.
“You’re already seeing more women run in places like the Virginia elections in the recent weeks,” Headrick said. “I think you’ll only see more of it in 2018 and I think Republicans would be smart to respond by looking for more women candidates as well.”
Headrick believes the resignation is one of the first steps to preventing people who have similar allegations against them from remaining in their position.