WASHINGTON (CBSLA/AP) — Sen. Al Franken is resigning over allegations of sexual misconduct.
The Minnesota lawmaker took to the Senate floor to say, “I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice.” He says he’ll addressing issues as an activist.
Franken says he can’t go through a Senate Ethics Committee investigation and effectively represent his state at the same time.
In remarks that lasted 11 minutes, he said that, thanks to his family, “I’m going to be just fine.”
He says some charges against him are untrue and that he remembers other differently than his accusers do. But he says women “deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously.”
Franken announced he was stepping down following intense pressure over allegations of sexual misconduct have mounted, with at least eight women accusing him of acting inappropriately.
“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office and a man who has repeatedly preyed on young girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party,”Franken said.
The Minnesota senator’s support among fellow Democrats crumbled on Wednesday after a woman accused Franken of trying to forcibly kiss her in 2006. Hours later another woman said Franken inappropriately squeezed “a handful of flesh” on her waist while posing for a photo with her in 2009.
An earlier tweet on Franken’s Twitter account Wednesday evening said Franken was talking with his family and had not yet made any final decision his future.
The growing allegations against Franken were highlighted by a campaign by a Los Angeles street artist who altered a West Los Angeles billboard for the upcoming film “The Greatest Showman” to include a giant image of the embattled lawmaker.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)