Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) announced Thursday he plans to resign from office amid numerous allegations that he acted inappropriately and sexually harassed multiple women.
“Some of the allegations against me are simply not true,” Franken said on the Senate floor. “Others I remember very differently.”
“I am proud that during my time in the Senate, I have used my power to be a champion of women,” he said. “And that I have earned a reputation as someone who respects the women I work alongside every day. I know there is a different picture of me painted over the last few weeks, but I know who I really am.”
On Wednesday, multiple Democratic senators called for Franken to resign after a longtime female staffer said Franken tried to kiss her after taping his radio show in 2006 — an allegation Franken has denied.
“Serving in the United States Senate has been the great honor of my life,” Franken said. “I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator, nothing has brought dishonor on this institution. I am confident that the ethics committee would agree.”
“Nevertheless, today I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as member of the United States Senate,” he said. “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 the 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.”
“But this decision is not about me,” he continued. “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. Let me be clear. I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice. I will continue to stand up for the things I believe in as a citizen and as an activist.”
You can read a transcript of his remarks in full, here.