Democratic lawmakers are rapidly pulling their support for Sen. Al Franken after a seventh woman has come forward accusing the Minnesota Democrat of sexual misconduct.
Franken, who has denied the latest accusation by a former Democratic congressional aide that he attempted to forcibly kiss her in 2006, will make a statement Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
Last week, the Senate Ethics Committee confirmed that it had launched a probe into the allegations against Franken, who has said he’d cooperate with the investigation.
Franken has told reporters over the past few weeks that he was “tremendously sorry,” and had “let a lot of people down” after several women accused him of sexual misconduct in separate events over the years.
The allegations against Franken began in mid-November, when Los Angeles radio anchor Leeann Tweeden accused him of forcibly kissing and groping her during a 2006 USO tour. Several other allegations followed, including a woman who says that Franken put his hand on her buttocks in 2010 during a photo op at the Minnesota State Fair. Two women, who asked to remain anonymous, have told the Huffington Post that Franken squeezed their buttocks at political events during his first campaign for the Senate in 2008. A fourth woman, an Army veteran, alleged Franken cupped her breast during a photo on a USO tour in 2003.
Franken has apologized for his behavior, but has also disputed some of the allegations.
By early afternoon Wednesday, at least a dozen Democratic senators and other top leaders were calling for Franken to resign. They include:
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
Senator Franken Should Step AsideI have been shocked and disappointed to learn over the last few weeks that a…
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Miss.)
Al Franken should resign.
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) December 6, 2017
Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)
Today, I am calling on my colleague Al Franken to step aside. I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend. But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women. (thread)
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) December 6, 2017
Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.)
It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women. He should resign.
— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) December 6, 2017
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.)
I believe it is best for Senator Franken to resign.
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) December 6, 2017
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
I’m shocked and appalled by Senator Franken’s behavior. It’s clear to me that this has been a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a long period of time.
It’s time for him to step aside.
— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) December 6, 2017
Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.)
I agree with my colleagues who have stepped forward today and called on Senator Franken to resign. We can’t just believe women when it’s convenient.
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) December 6, 2017
Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.)
Joe is calling for Senator Franken to resign. pic.twitter.com/ff5i1rnhJs
— Senator Joe Donnelly (@SenDonnelly) December 6, 2017
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
I have listened to them. I have listened to my female colleagues, to women I work with and women in my life. And I agree the time has come for Senator Franken to step aside.
— Sherrod Brown (@SenSherrodBrown) December 6, 2017
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)
Sexual harassment is unacceptable. I believe Senator Franken should do the right thing and resign.
— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (@SenStabenow) December 6, 2017
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.)
We must commit to zero tolerance – which is where I believe we as a country and Congress should be – and that means Senator Franken should step down. Full statement: pic.twitter.com/4qrZB0mBTo
— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (@SenatorHeitkamp) December 6, 2017
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
I join my colleagues in calling for Senator Franken to step aside and resign. Sexual harassment is unacceptable, completely inappropriate and cannot be tolerated.
— Ed Markey (@SenMarkey) December 6, 2017
Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.)
Sexual harassment and misconduct are never acceptable. I understand Senator Franken will make an announcement tomorrow morning, and I'm confident he'll do the right thing and step aside.
— Michael F. Bennet (@SenBennetCO) December 6, 2017
Tom Perez, DNC Chairman
Sen. Al Franken should step down. Everyone must share the responsibility of building a culture of trust and respect for women in every industry and workplace, and that includes our party.
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) December 6, 2017
Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, of Illinois:
Senator Franken’s behavior was wrong. He has admitted to what he did. He should resign from the Senate.
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) December 6, 2017