Al Franken’s resignation speech was far from apologetic. It sounded more like a kid whining, “It’s not fair! I’m not the only one who broke the rules!” He does not feel he should be forced to resign when there is a “sexual predator” in the Oval Office. He also thought it was unfair Roy Moore still had the full support of his party when he didn’t. Although he never admits to all the allegations he does say that some things happened, but he remembers them differently. Mmmhmm.
Franken said he will leave the Senate in the coming weeks. The announcement came one day after another accusation led a majority of Senate Democrats to call for his resignation.
Striking a defiant tone in a speech on the Senate floor, Franken defended his political legacy and made clear he was not admitting to the behavior described by his accusers.
“Some of the allegations against me simply are not true. Others I remember very differently,” he said.
Franken also took at aim at President Trump and Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who have not been forced to step aside despite facing their own allegations of sexual misconduct.
“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.
Despite his misgivings, Franken said the controversy had become a distraction that would prevent him from fulfilling his duties as a senator.
“I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator — nothing — has brought dishonor on this institution,” he said.
He added: “I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice.”
Franken is expected to make his resignation effective at the end of the month, according to a person familiar with his decision, to give time for the governor and his successor to prepare. That time frame would also allow Franken to stick around for potentially consequential votes on the Republican tax bill, funding the government and potentially the fate of “dreamers,” immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.
When Franken steps down, a replacement will be appointed by Minnesota’s Democratic governor to serve until the 2018 election
The drive to purge Franken, coming a day after Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) resigned under pressure in the House, was a dramatic indication of the political toxicity that has grown around the issue of sexual harassment in recent months.
It also stood as a stark — and deliberate — contrast with how the Republicans are handling a parallel situation in Alabama, where Moore, who will face voters in next week’s special election, is accused by women of pursuing them when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s (via: Washington Post)
Since Franken will be around for a couple important votes, some are speculating he may vote against his party out of spite. We wish he would do it for the right reasons, but whatever it takes, Franken.