Dozens of Democratic senators are calling on their colleague Democrat Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota to resign after a seventh woman accused him of sexual misconduct. Franken is expected to announce plans for his political future during a Nov. 7 press conference.
On Dec. 6, a former Democratic congressional aide who requested anonymity alleged that Franken attempted to forcibly kiss her in 2006, three years before taking a Senate seat.
"I was really startled by it, and I just sort of booked it towards the door, and he said, 'It’s my right as an entertainer,'" the aide told Politico.
Franken denied the allegation, stating, "This allegation is categorically not true and the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous."
Since Nov. 16, six other women have accused Franken of sexual misconduct. Radio host Leeann Tweeden alleged that Franken had kissed and groped her without consent in 2006. Five other women, three of them anonymous, alleged that Franken had kissed or groped them during political events or photo opportunities. Franken requested that the Senate Ethics Committee investigate the allegations, according to ABC News.
Hours after the seventh accusation was published, 12 female Democratic senators called for Franken to resign in coordinated statements, The New York Times reports.
"I have been shocked and disappointed to learn over the last few weeks that a colleague I am fond of personally has engaged in behavior towards women that is unacceptable," Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York wrote on Facebook on Dec. 6.
"While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn't acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve," she added.
“We have been in touch with each other,” Democratic Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii told The New York Times. “It’s been difficult because I consider Al a friend. I’ve sat with him in two committees, but that doesn’t excuse his behavior.”
Shortly after the flurry of female Senate Democrats called for Franken to step down, several of their male peers joined.
"It's time for him to resign," said Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin of Illinois. "It just seemed that the credible charges continued. I thought it might be an isolated incident or two. It seems to be that there was a pattern of conduct."
Franken's office said the senator would hold a press conference on Dec. 7, but did not disclose the substance of the pending announcement.
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who represents the same state as Franken, took to social media to reveal that she had spoke to him personally about the matter.
"This morning I spoke with Senator Franken and, as you know, he will be making an announcement about his future tomorrow morning," Klobuchar tweeted out. "I am confident he will make the right decision."
Sources: ABC News, Amy Klobuchar/Twitter, Kirsten Gillibrand/Facebook, The New York Times, Politico / Featured Image: Stephanie Moreno/Peabody Awards via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Senate Democrats/Flickr, Lorie Shaull/Flickr