Al Franken has officially resigned from the Senate

Amid a flurry of sexual harassment claims, Senator Al Franken has officially resigned as a member of the United States Senate. He announced the decision during a speech on the Senate floor today, December 7th.

While addressing his fellow senators, Franken said,

"I am proud that during my time in the Senate I have used my power to be a champion of women and that I have earned a reputation as someone that respects the women I work alongside every day. I know there has been a very different picture of me painted in the last few weeks, but I know who I really am."

He continued,

"Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember very differently. I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator — nothing — has brought dishonor on this institution. And I am confident that the Ethics Committee would agree. Nevertheless, today I am announcing that in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate."

Franken also noted that while he’s confident he’d be cleared by a Senate Ethics Committee, he also believes he would be unable to adequately represent the people of Minnesota while an investigation was taking place.

Many have already noted the underlying contradiction inherent in Franken’s words: He does not believe he’s done anything wrong…but he believes we should take sexual harassment claims seriously. Shouldn’t we then take the six women seriously who have come forward with claims that he groped them? false

Most of Franken’s female colleagues in the Senate — as well as a number of men — had called for his resignation in recent days. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, said, “Enough is enough,” in a recent statement.

While we appreciate the bitter irony of Franken resigning while several high-profile Republicans — with arguably more serious allegations leveled against them — remain unscathed, everyone must be held accountable for sexual misconduct. No matter who they are or what political party they belong to.

You can watch the full video of his official announcement here:

Franken’s resignation will take effect at the end of the year.