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Over the last few weeks, multiple women have forward to say Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has groped or forcibly kissed them. And now, one by one, female senators are turning to Twitter to demand Franken resign from office.
The posts, which started around 11:30am ET Wednesday and quickly went viral, point to his mistreatment of women and that he’s unfit to serve. Among the women, all of whom are Democrats, who asked for his resignation: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Miss.), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Cali.), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wa.), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D).
“The allegations against Sen. Franken describe behavior that cannot be tolerated,” Gillibrand said. “While he’s entitled to an Ethics Committee hearing, I believe he should step aside to let someone else serve.”
Hirono particularly stressed that she considered Franken a friend, but ultimately believes he should leave Congress amid the allegations.
“I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend,” Hirono also tweeted. “But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women.”
As elected officials, we should be held to the highest standards—not the lowest. The allegations against Sen. Franken describe behavior that cannot be tolerated. While he’s entitled to an Ethics Committee hearing, I believe he should step aside to let someone else serve.— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 6, 2017
Today, I am calling on my colleague Al Franken to step aside. I’ve struggled with this decision because he’s been a good Senator and I consider him a friend. But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women. (thread)— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) December 6, 2017
Al Franken should resign.— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) December 6, 2017
It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women. He should resign.— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@SenatorHassan) December 6, 2017
Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down.— Kamala Harris (@SenKamalaHarris) December 6, 2017
I believe it is best for Senator Franken to resign.— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) December 6, 2017
I’m shocked and appalled by Senator Franken’s behavior. It’s clear to me that this has been a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a long period of time.— Senator Patty Murray (@PattyMurray) December 6, 2017
It’s time for him to step aside.
Sexual harassment is unacceptable. I believe Senator Franken should do the right thing and resign.— Sen. Debbie Stabenow (@SenStabenow) December 6, 2017
We must commit to zero tolerance – which is where I believe we as a country and Congress should be – and that means Senator Franken should step down. Full statement: pic.twitter.com/4qrZB0mBTo— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (@SenatorHeitkamp) December 6, 2017
Male senators and DNC chairman Tom Perez also called on Franken to resign, noting that the Democrats must play a major role in “building a culture of trust and respect for women in every industry and workplace.”
Sen. Al Franken should step down. Everyone must share the responsibility of building a culture of trust and respect for women in every industry and workplace, and that includes our party.— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) December 6, 2017
The Senate Ethics Committee is currently investigating claims of Franken’s sexual misconduct. Franken is expected to resign from office before the committee announces its conclusions, however, now that he is being publicly called out by his colleagues.
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.