Senator Al Franken has announced he will resign from the United States Senate after an increasing amount of allegations of sexual harassment against him. Recent events have seen Mr Franken lose support with his fellow Democrats and result in a quick fall from grace for the US politician.
Mr Franken famously followed his career as a successful television comedian with a rise to one of the highest political offices in the United States.
Franken, still technically a senator, announced that his state of Minnesota deserved a representative who could focus on the issues Minnesotans face every day. A senate spokesman announced that there was not yet an official timeline for Franken’s resignation.
Until his official resignation Sen. Franken will continue his regular senate duties.
In his speech Franken faced the political reality that he could no longer be an effective senator but attempted to clear his name of the allegations against him.
Franken explained that he was a different person than the man he has been painted as in the last couple of weeks. He stated that while he is sure some allegations are false, others he remembers differently.
Franken stated that he wanted to show respect to the broadening discussion about sexual harassment of women by men in positions of seniority. Following this he wanted to separate himself from the Republicans President Trump and Sen. Roy Moore who had also been accused of sexual misconduct.
Franken seemed to explicitly imply a level irony in that he was leaving office while the President had been caught on tape, “bragging” about his historic sexual assaults of women. Franken used this opportunity to point out that despite the strong evidence of Trump’s sexual deviancy his party still fully supported him.
Franken has historically been seen as an active champion of female empowerment and other progressive causes in the United States. He has since been caught in the wave of accusations against men in positions of power from women who had not felt empowered enough to speak out.
Democrats have drawn a clear line between their policy towards sexual misconduct and that of the Republicans. As president Trump has fully supported Sen. Moore in light of his own sexual misconduct allegations, the decision to abandon Franken follows the Democrats zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment.
Franken stated that while he was “excited” by the growing trend of women speaking out against sexual mistreatment he regretted that the conversation had turned to him.
As allegations were made against Franken he faced a sudden and vicious number of demands for his resignation from fellow democrats. With all of this pressure against him, Franken seemingly had no choice but to choose to step down from his position.