U.S Senator Al Franken announced he will be resigning "in the coming weeks" amid a growing firestorm stemming from sexual misconduct allegations – the second Democratic lawmaker to announce a departure this week under a cloud of moral impropriety.
More than two-dozen fellow Democratic senators had called on Franken to resign after a news media report quoted a former congressional aide as saying Franken forcibly tried to kiss her in 2006.
The sexual misconduct allegations against Franken were touched off last month when Leeann Tweeden, a Los Angeles radio show host and former model, said that Franken, when both of them were on a 2006 tour to entertain U.S. troops in the Mideast, attempted to forcibly kiss her. Later, she said that when she was sleeping on a military aircraft returning to the United States, Franken groped her breasts, posting a picture as evidence showing a smiling Franken.
That was two years before Franken was first elected as a senator, but since then, several women have said Franken groped them when they posed for pictures with him at public events
On Tuesday, the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, Michigan Democrat John Conyers, quit in the face of sexual misconduct allegations against him. House leaders of both parties had called for his resignation after several women who worked for Conyers accused him of unwanted sexual advances spanning several years.
Allegations of sexual misconduct have roiled the United States for weeks, with dozens of powerful men in the world of politics, business, entertainment and the media losing their jobs after women have come forward with graphic details of how they were abused.