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Al Franken resigning from Senate

08 December 2017, 01:53 | Myrtle Vega

Al Franken resigns from Senate over sex misconduct claims

Sen. Al Franken D-Minn. listens during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on several nominees on Wednesday Nov. 29 2017

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton will appoint a replacement to serve until next year's election.

Most Senate Democrats called for Franken's resignation on Wednesday.

"'It's my right as an entertainer, '" the woman says Franken told her after she avoided his kiss.

"The first thing I want to do is apologize: to Leeann, to everyone else who was part of that tour, to everyone who has worked for me, to everyone I represent, and to everyone who counts on me to be an ally and supporter and champion of women".

"Serving in the United States senate has been the great honor of my life", Franken said, with only a handful of his colleagues in attendance.

As condemnation increased in the wake of the story, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, called for a Senate Ethics Committee probe into Franken, and Franken said repeatedly he will cooperate with that investigation. The victor of that election will serve until 2020, when he or she would decide whether to run again for a new six-year term.

But they had lost patience with the growing tally of allegations and paved the path for Mr Franken's exit.

Republicans current hold 52 seats in the chamber with Democrats andvIndependents they regularly caucus with accounting for the remaining 48 seats.

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"We must commit to zero tolerance", Senator Heidi Heitkamp said in a tweet.

A torrent of Democrats quickly followed Ms Gillibrand. In the span of a few hours Wednesday afternoon, dozens of senators said Franken should go - including Schumer.

"It's clear to me that this has been a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a long period of time".

"No, we don't intend to do so", said Texas Democratic Party Deputy Executive Director Manny Garcia, when asked whether the party would return or donate the money raised with the help of Franken to charity.

Sen. Al Franken, bowing to pressure from his Senate colleagues, announced on Thursday that he would resign after being hit with multiple sexual misconduct allegations.

A former Democratic congressional aide said Al Franken tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006, three years before he became a USA senator.

Mr Franken said the idea he would claim such conduct as a right was "preposterous". "But Minnesotans deserve a senator who can focus with all her energy on addressing the challenges they face every day".

Franken's Thursday resignation speech capped a meteoric political climb and swift fall for the former stand up comedian, who came into office in 2009 after surviving a recount, and was considered a potential Democratic candidate to challenge Donald Trump in 2020.

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