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Al Franken Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

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Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is resigning amid multiple sexual misconduct allegations.

Once a rising star in the Democratic Party, Franken made the announcement in a speech Thursday on the Senate floor.

The two-term lawmaker has repeatedly apologized as several women stepped forward to accuse him of sexually inappropriate behavior, from groping to forcibly trying to kiss them.

But a fresh allegation on Wednesday unleashed a torrent of Democratic demands that Franken step aside. Female senators led the chorus.

Franken is an actor who appeared on “Saturday Night Live” and an author who narrowly won his Senate seat in 2008 after a prolonged vote count. He has been a fierce opponent of the Trump administration.

His political fall has been swift by congressional standards. The first allegation surfaced on Nov. 16.

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine is asking about the number of sexual harassment claims filed against senators and staffers, along with the amount of money spent on settlement of harassment cases.

Kaine writes in a letter to the Senate Office of Compliance that he will publicly release any information he receives to promote greater awareness of the problem and develop solutions.

The House has revealed it paid $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment complaint against Texas Republican congressman Blake Farenthold. Settlements by senators, if any, have not been made public.

Kaine says sexual misconduct continues to be a barrier against gender equality.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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