Bernie Sanders tells Al Franken to ‘do the right thing’ and resign
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Bernie Sanders tells Al Franken to ‘do the right thing’ and resign

Former presidential candidate says America is at a ‘crossroads’ as it deals with issue of sexual harassment against women

US Senator Bernie Sanders speaks on stage during the Protecting Working Families Rallyat Santander Performing Arts Center in Reading, Pennsylvania, December 3, 2017. (Lisa Lake/Getty Images for MoveOn.org/AFP)
US Senator Bernie Sanders speaks on stage during the Protecting Working Families Rallyat Santander Performing Arts Center in Reading, Pennsylvania, December 3, 2017. (Lisa Lake/Getty Images for MoveOn.org/AFP)

Senator Bernie Sanders said his colleague Al Franken’s announcement scheduled for Thursday should include his resignation following accusations of sexual harassment from more than a half-dozen women.

“Senator Franken has said that he will be making an announcement about his political future tomorrow. The right thing is for him to resign,” Sanders, an Independent from Vermont and who ran for president as a Democrat in the 2016 elections, said in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon.

“We are now at a crossroads in American culture. And it is an important one. The way we treat women in our country has been abysmal in almost every way. We are finally addressing the issue of sexual harassment, and we need to get it right.”

At least 22 Democratic senators, many of them women, have called on Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, to resign as of Wednesday afternoon.

Sensators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Dianne Feinstein of California also said Wednesday on Twitter that resignation was the “right thing” for Franken. Both are Jewish, as are Franken and Sanders.

Senator Al Franken (Democrat-Minnesota) attends a committee hearing on Capital Hill in Washington, DC, on November 29, 2017. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/AFP

Following the calls for his resignation after another woman came forward on Wednesday to accuse him of sexual harassment, Franken’s office said he would make an “announcement” on Thursday. The office did not say what the nature of the announcement would be.

Seven woman have come forward to accuse Franken of touching them inappropriately during photo opportunities and campaign events. The accusations date from between 2003 and 2010.

The latest accusation, reported Wednesday morning on Politico, comes from an unnamed former Democratic congressional aide who said Franken tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006, three years before he became a US senator.

Franken, a former “Saturday Night Live” performer, has joined leaders of both parties in the Senate in asking for an ethics investigation against him. The Senate Ethics Committee on Thursday opened a preliminary investigation into the accusations against Franken.

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