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Al Franken Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

WASHINGTON (WWJ/AP) – Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is resigning amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct by multiple women.

Once a rising star in the Democratic party, Franken made the announcement in a speech Thursday on the Senate floor.

“This decision is not about me. It’s about the people of Minnesota. 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 said.

The two-term lawmaker has repeatedly apologized as several women stepped forward to accuse him of sexually inappropriate behavior, from groping to forcibly trying to kiss them, back before he was elected to the U.S. Senate.

A fresh allegation on Wednesday by a seventh accuser unleashed a torrent of Democratic demands that Franken step aside. Female senators led the chorus.

Franken is comedian and actor who appeared on “Saturday Night Live,” as well as an author, who narrowly won his Senate seat in 2008 after a prolonged vote count. He has been a fierce opponent of the Trump administration.

“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 is running for Senate with full support of his party,” he said, referencing the Access Hollywood tape that included audio of Trump bragging about groping women “by the pussy,” and the continued candidacy of Alabama’s Roy Moore.

Franken’s political fall has been swift by congressional standards. The first allegation surfaced on Nov. 16.

© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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