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Sen. Al Franken Announces Resignation 'In Coming Weeks'

Sen. Al Franken Announces Resignation 'In Coming Weeks'

December 07, 2017 02:19 PM

(ABC 6 News) - Standing before other federal lawmakers this morning, Sen. Al Franken announced his resignation. 

He said, "It's become clear that I can't both pursue the ethics committee process and at the same time remain an effective senator," and that "serving in the U.S. Senate has been the great honor of my life. I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a Senator has done harm to this institution. Nevertheless, in the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United State Senate... this decision is not about me, it's about the people of Minnesota."

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During his 11 minute statement, Franken said some of the charges against him are untrue and that he remembers some situations "very differently" than his accusers do, but that women "deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously."

He went on to say, "I know who I really am.  Serving in the United States Senate has been the great honor of my life.  I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a Senator, nothing, has brought this [dis]honor on this institution, and I am confident that the ethics committee would agree." 

"I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape of his history of sexual assault is sitting in the oval office and a man who has preyed on young girls is campaigning for the Senate with the full support from his party."

He concluded by saying, "Let me be clear. I may be giving up my seat, but I am not giving up my voice... I will be fighting alongside you every step of the way.  With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor."

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said he hasn't decided on a replacement for Franken yet and that he expects to make and announce his decision in the next couple of days.

Whoever he names will serve until a special election in November to complete the remainder of Franken's term through 2020.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.


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