After an outpour of rejection from his fellow democratic colleagues, Al Franken is highly expected to resign from his position as a Minnesota Senator after a 6th accusation of sexual assault surfaced on Wednesday. The story that was released by Politico claimed that a former congressional aide, who is not being named for privacy, accused the Senator of attempting to kiss her in 2006, telling her “It’s my right as an entertainer.”
Minnesota Public Radio released a story on Wednesday claiming that a unnamed democratic official who spoke with Al Franken and some of his key aides on the matter, advised that he intended to resign on Thursday. Shortly after the MPR report was released, the Franken team took to social media to confirm that the report was “Not accurate,” and that the Senator was still discussing the decision with his family.
The first accusation against Mr. Franken appeared last November after newscaster Leann Tweeden revealed a compromising photo of the former comedian engaging in misconduct while she was sleeping in 2006. The allegation also included that he had forcibly kissed her without consent while rehearsing for a skit prior to the picture being taken. After the story took media headlines by storm, Mr. Franken issued an immediate apology that was widely accepted, however the stories from women that were soon to claim additional inappropriate encounters resulted in the loss of the Senators political backing from some of his closest allies in Congress.
Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, among others beside him according to the New York Times, stating that “Senator Franken should resign,” also claiming “I consider Senator Franken a dear friend and greatly respect his accomplishments, but he has a higher obligation to his constituents and the Senate, and he should step down immediately.”
Although the accusations against Mr. Franken have once again dominated the news, he is not the first nor the last political figure who has been swarmed by allegations, making it difficult to complete their legislative work. Roy Moore, the Alabaman Republican running for Senate in the special election on December 12th, was the first political figure to be accused of sexual assault, including inappropriate advances on women under the age of 18. President Trump, who was quick to condemn Mr. Franken of his accusations, has recently given the Mr. Moore an official endorsement, claiming that a republican win over his democratic rival was most important in order for him to deliver on key promises from his presidential campaign.
Sexual assault claims have been appearing in Hollywood and political news over the past several months after the New York Times released an investigation into multiple allegations and pay offs related to the Hollywood elitist, Harvey Weinstein. The #MeToo movement has given the courage for women around the country to come forward with their stories, seeking justice and fair treatment of women across the globe. Time Magazine on Wednesday, in response to the overwhelming movement, named “Silence Breakers” as their annual Person of the Year, as it has shaped a newer, stronger, and more hopeful culture for women.