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Baldwin Calls On Franken To Resign

Senator Joins Several Other Democrats In Making The Call Following New Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct Against Franken

Tammy Baldwin
Sen. Tammy Baldwin introduced legislation aimed at stopping the Trump administration from closing federal job training centers. Alex Brandon/AP Photo

Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin called on Minnesota U.S. Sen. Al Franken to resign Wednesday following new allegations that he tried to forcibly kiss a woman in 2006.

“I believe it is best for Sen. Franken to resign,” Baldwin wrote in a Tweet Wednesday morning.

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Baldwin released the statement following similar calls from other Democratic women in the U.S. Senate, including Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, of New York; Sen. Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii; Sen. Claire McCaskill, of Missouri; Patty Murray, of Washington; Kamala Harris, of California; and Maggie Hassan, of New Hampshire.

The new allegation was reported Wednesday morning by Politico, which said it spoke to an unnamed former Democratic congressional aide. The aide told Politico that Franken pursued her after taping his radio show.

When the first sexual misconduct allegations against Franken surfaced in November, Baldwin said she supported an ethics investigation of Franken. Baldwin also donated $20,000 in political contributions from Franken to a Wisconsin charity for women veterans, according to her campaign.

After that initial report, Baldwin and other Democrats stopped short of calling for Franken to leave the Senate, but Marquette University Political Science Professor Julia Azari said it’s not surprising that they would call for his resignation now given the changing circumstances.

“This is a moment where this is going to get a lot of attention,” Azari said. “There’s not really a lot of room for prominent Senators to embrace ambiguity on this front.”

Before noon, male Senate Democrats also joined in the call for Franken to resign. Those included Sen. Bob Casey, of Pennsylvania; Sen. Sherrod Brown, of Ohio; and Sen. Joe Donnelly, of Indiana, according to NPR.

Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez also called on Franken to resign.

Azari said the timing of the Franken story provided an easy comparison to the campaign of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama, who has been accused by several women of initiating sexual encounters when they were teenagers and Moore was in his 30s.

Moore has been endorsed by President Donald Trump and supported by the Republican National Committee.

“You can sort of see how the little blurb in the history book writes itself,” Azari said. “That will be the narrative.”

Editor’s Note: This story was last updated at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017.