Minnesota Democrat Al Franken, a former comedian who once appeared in diapers on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, announced from the floor of the Senate on Thursday that he will soon become a former United States Senator. He is accused by several women of sexually inappropriate behavior, ranging from unsolicited groping to forcible kisses. He is currently in his second term, having been elected in 2008 in an election whose results were challenged in court.

A fierce opponent of President Donald Trump, Franken said on Thursday that he is “I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who bragged on tape about his history of sexual assaults 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. But this decision is not about me. It’s about the people of Minnesota. And it’s become clear that I can’t both pursue the Ethics Committee process and at the same time remain an effective Senator for them.”

Franken has apologized to the women, while a fresh allegation by another woman was followed by demands by nearly 20 Democrats in the Senate and the leader of his party to resign. 

Once heralded as a rising star in the Democrat firmament, his fall from grace was swift: the first allegation surfaced on Nov. 16
 



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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