More than a dozen Democratic senators on Wednesday called on Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to resign in the wake of multiple sexual misconduct allegations against him.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was the first of Franken’s fellow Senate Democrats to take that step and was quickly followed by more than two dozen others. The first batch of resignation calls came from female senators, followed by a slew of male Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has yet to comment publicly Wednesday on Franken.
Franken plans to make an unspecified announcement on Thursday, according to his office. The state director for his Minnesota colleague, Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, said in a statement that Klobuchar spoke with Franken directly early Wednesday and offered no further comment beyond pointing to Franken’s planned announcement.
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) was the first male Democratic senator to say his colleague should step aside, but others followed in rapid-fire sequence.
“Senator Franken’s behavior was wrong,” Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) tweeted. “He has admitted to what he did. He should resign from the Senate.”
Other male Democratic senators, however, stopped short of urging Franken to step down.
“I believe in the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution that people are innocent until proven otherwise,” said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), whose federal corruption case ended in a mistrial last month. He said in a later statement that Franken has “admitted there’s truth to some of the allegations, and it seems that he is coming to terms with the implications for his ability to remain in the Senate.”