Franken Resigns In Emotional Speech, Denies Some Allegations

Franken is seen on an image posted to Leeann Tweeden’s Twitter feed

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) will make an announcement about his political future Thursday on the Senate floor about his political future amid sexual harassment allegations.

"I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice", Franken said in the otherwise-hushed Senate chamber.

Amid the humbling moment, Franken nonetheless struck resolute cords, striking back at some of the accusations.

Of his previous apologies, Franken said: "I think it gave some people the false impression that I was admitting to doing things that, in fact, I haven't done".

"People have asked me, "Do you feel relieved" [now that he has resigned]", Leeann Tweeden told ABC's "Nightline" Thursday night. "Others I remember very different".

Notably, Franken did not use his speech to apologize to the women who said he groped and kissed them against their will, in incidents that mostly predated his time in the Senate.

Trump has since gone on to support Alabama judge Roy Moore who is running for the Senate amid a torrent of sexual assault allegations, some of which come from women who charge him with assaulting them when they were minors.

The news marks a stunningly rapid halt to a rising political career that many Democrats in Minnesota and around the nation had viewed with enthusiasm.

Multiple women have accused Franken of groping them. It would be highly irregular for the liberal politician to appoint a Republican to the seat. The victor of a special election in November would serve through the end of Franken's term in January of 2021.

A top Democratic official told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Franken will resign, "but the senator's staff insisted no final decision had been made".

Senate Majority Leader Sen.

"This is a party which is losing its mind", former Speaker Newt Gingrich said of the Democrats who had turned on Franken.

In the Senate, in addition to casting what was arguably the deciding vote to pass the Affordable Care Act, Franken has focused on advocating for the rights of women.

While Franken is departing, Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore could be arriving, if he prevails in a December 12 special election.

Franken is the latest powerful man to fall from grace after the #MeToo movement encouraged women to come forward with their stories of sexual misconduct.

"I know the work I've been able to do has made people's lives better", he said.

"I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator - nothing - has brought dishonor on this institution", Franken declared Thursday. "Even today, on the worst day of my political life, it has been worth it". Several Democratic senators, including those who had called for his resignation, lined up to shake his hand and hug him.



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