In an eleven-minute speech on the Senate floor. Al Franken resigned from his position as Senator of Minnesota.
Point of view
I was excited for that conversation... Then the conversation turned to me.Former Senator of Minnesota
"I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator, nothing has brought dishonor on this institution. I am confident that the ethics committee would agree.
Nevertheless, today I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as member of the United States Senate."
His standing down came as no surprise. More than 30 of his Democrat colleagues including 15 women had called on Franken to stand aside. Al Franken had faced weeks of pressure, starting in November when Radio Presenter Leeann Tweeden accused him of sexual misconduct. Tweeden alleged that Franken tried to kiss her during a rehearsal for a comedy sketch in 2006. Following this a photo emerged of Franken pretending to fondle Tweeden's breasts whilst she slept.
Notably absent from Franken's speech was any apology to the women who have come forward to accuse him. He has previous apologised to Tweeden. However, he insisted that not all the accusations against him were true.
"Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember very differently."
Franken's resignation means his seat is now open for a successor. Whoever takes over will have to contest the Minnesota seat in 2018.
The Democrat Party are hoping that by forcing Franken's hand they can contrast themselves to how the Republican Party is dealing with accusations of sexual misconduct within it's own party. In his speech Franken referenced the controversy surrounding Alabama's Republican candidate for the Senate Roy Moore.