WASHINGTON – Al Franken presented on Tuesday his resignation from the US Senate, effective immediately, after eight women accused him in recent months of sexual misconduct, prompting the Minnesota Democrat late last year to say that he intended to step down.
In his resignation remarks – contained in a letter he sent to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and published by the daily Minneapolis Star Tribune – Franken thanked the people of his state for giving him the opportunity to serve them and the nation.
Franken, who had apologized for any offense he may have given and had offered to undergo an ethics investigation by the Senate, has been one of the most popular Democratic senators and his name had begun to be heard in discussions about a possible presidential run in 2020.
The 66-year-old former comedian, who was elected to the Senate in 2009 was accused of kissing and touching several women without their consent in incidents occurring between 2003 and 2010.
The US in recent months has been experiencing a wave of accusations of sexual harassment starting with the Hollywood scandal involving film producer Harvey Weinstein and spreading into politics and other realms.
Several other members of Congress have also resigned recently amid sexual misconduct charges, including Democrats John Conyers and Ruben Kihuen and Republicans Trent Franks and Blake Farenthold.