A spate of female Democratic senators, starting with Kirsten Gillibrand, called upon their colleague Al Franken to resign amid mounting sexual-harassment allegations against him. “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,” Gillibrand wrote on Facebook of the allegations that Franken groped and forcibly kissed several women. “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.” Gillibrand has become one of the most consistent lawmakers on sexual-harassment issues, initially telling the press she believed Franken’s accusers, and also going as far as to suggest President Bill Clinton should have quit during the Lewinsky affair scandal. Immediately after Gillibrand posted her statement, several other prominent female Democratic senators came forward to call for Franken’s exit—including Sens. Kamala Harris, Maggie Hassan, Claire McCaskill, Mazie Hirono, Tammy Baldwin, and Patty Murray. Their male colleagues, including Sens. Bob Casey and Sherrod Brown, later joined the chorus.
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