WASHINGTON — Sen. Chris Murphy on Wednesday joined more than half the Senate’s Democrats in calling on Sen. Al Franken to resign, a movement that picked up steam after a sixth woman accused the Minnesota Democrat of improper sexual advances.
“The increasing number of women coming forward suggests a pattern of repeated harassment and unacceptable behavior that is impossible to ignore,” Murphy said. “Senator Franken has denied some of these allegations and has the right to continue to seek a process through the Ethics Committee, but I believe the best course of action for him right now is to step down, as I expect he will do tomorrow.”
Franken has scheduled an announcement for Thursday, but has said he has not made up his mind whether he will resign from the Senate.
Sen. Richard Blumethal, D-Conn., who serves with Franken on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would withhold comment about Franken until that announcement.
“I’ve been listening to the courageous women across the nation who have come forward about sexual harassment and assault, as well as my Senate colleagues,” Blumenthal said. “I understand that Senator Franken will make an announcement tomorrow. I’ll comment after he speaks.”
Both Murphy and Blumenthal have pledged to give donations received from Franken’s political action committee, a total of $30,000, to charity.
Pressure on Franken to resign escalated throughout the day after the accusations of the sixth woman circulated on Capitol Hill.
“Enough is enough,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
Gillibrand was joined by 11 female senators in calling for Franken’s resignation. One by one male colleagues, including Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, joined them.
“Senator Franken should resign,” Schumer said in a statement. “I consider Senator Franken a dear friend and greatly respect his accomplishments, but he has a higher obligation to his constituents and the Senate, and he should step down immediately.”