US Democratic Senator Al Franken, accused of misbehaving with women, was released Wednesday by most of his Senate colleagues, who urged him to resign without delay.
Al Franken’s entourage said he would make an announcement on Thursday. According to his friend Keith Ellison, elected from Minnesota to the House of Representatives, “he will make the right decision and resign”.
The elector’s Twitter account, however, corrected a local media that announced his resignation as a result: “No decision has been made, the senator continues to talk with his family.”
The events rushed in a few hours for the merry 66-year-old senator, re-elected in 2014 for a six-year term.
His colleague from New York, Kirsten Gillibrand, posted a morning message on Facebook calling on him to resign, followed immediately by several other opposition senators, then by many male colleagues, and up to the head of the Senate opposition, Chuck Schumer, in the late afternoon.
In total, at least 29 of the 48 Democratic Senators had called him to step down at the end of the day.
“Senator Franken is a dear friend and I respect what he has done, but he has a greater obligation to his constituents and to the Senate, and he should resign immediately,” said Chuck Schumer.
A total of seven women reported being moved by Al Franken, before and after he was elected in 2009. Previously, he was a well-known comedian. He has repeatedly apologized for his past behavior, but has so far ruled out.
“I am shocked and disappointed to learn for a number of weeks that a colleague I personally love has been unacceptable to women,” writes Kirsten Gillibrand.
Speaking of a “pivotal moment” in American society, the senator felt that Al Franken should “make it clear that any mistreatment of women is unacceptable in our society by resigning”.
For Bernie Sanders, “the current conversation is just the tip of the iceberg” in the debate about sexual harassment in the United States.
“It’s a tough decision because he’s a good senator and a friend, but that can not excuse his behavior and the way he abuses women,” wrote Mazie Hirono of Hawaii.
“I am shocked and appalled by Senator Franken’s behavior, it is obvious that this is a deeply harmful and persistent problem that has been going on for a long time and it is time for him to withdraw,” said the Senator. Washington State Patty Murray.
On Tuesday, Democratic House Speaker John Conyers resigned, accused of sexual harassment by former associates.
If Al Franken resigns, it will be up to the governor of Minnesota, a Democrat, to appoint his replacement pending a by-election.
Republicans, for their part, have to deal with the case of Roy Moore, the party’s candidate for a partial senatorial in Alabama on December 12, who is accused of touching minors in the late 1970s, allegations that he rejected.