Al Franken announces resignation from U.S. Senate

Al+Franken+announces+resignation+from+U.S.+Senate

Sofi Zeman, Features Editor

 On December 7, Senator Al Franken (R-MN) announced his resignation from the senate after past allegations of sexual harassment were brought into the limelight.

     Franken, perhaps best known for his time spent on the cast of Saturday Night Live, broke out of the comedic industry and entered the world of politics when he gained a senate seat in 2009.

     Recently, reports of Franken forcing himself on women and performing inappropriate actions during photo ops and meet-and-greets came up. Reportedly, these actions took place in the past few decades, overlapping both Franken’s comedic and political careers. Franken denied any of these encounters occuring in the time he held a Senate seat, saying :

     “Serving in the United States Senate has been the great honor of my life. 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.”

     When these allegations came to the attention of the Senate, multiple members- over 20 of which, were fellow Democrats- called for Senator Franken’s resignation. The newly resigned senator made a twelve minute speech, addressing the allegations and confirming them to be true, but remaining firm on his stance on women’s rights.

     “Over the last few weeks, a number of women came forward to talk about how they felt my actions has affected them. I was shocked. I was upset. But in responding to their claims, I also wanted to to be respectful of that conversation, because all women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously,” said Franken in his speech.

     Franken, who is well known for vocalizing his opinions on President Trump, mentioned POTUS and then Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore in his resignation speech as well.

     “ 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,” said Senator Franken.

     Two weeks later, many have called for Franken’s reinstatement, saying that because these encounters occurred prior to his involvement in politics, his political career should not suffer for it. Despite the controversy of it, Franken’s resignation was finalized. Democrat Tina Smith has since been selected to fill Franken’s seat as Senator of Minnesota.