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Al Franken, facing new allegations of sexual misconduct, set to make announcement today

Al Franken, facing new allegations of sexual misconduct, set to make announcement today
From CBC - December 7, 2017

Minnesota Sen.Al Frankenwill make an announcement todayamid a chorus of calls for him to resign from the U.S. Senate over multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.

Several of his fellow Democratic Senate colleagues recommendedon Wednesday that it'stime for him to step down after two new claims of inappropriate behaviour surfaced.

Onewoman said Franken forcibly tried to kiss her in 2006 after a taping of his radio show.Another woman said heinappropriately squeezed "a handful of flesh" on her waist while posing for a photo with her early in 2009. That bringsthe number of women alleging misconduct by Franken to at least eight.

Minnesota Public Radio reported on Wednesday that Franken would resign. However, Franken's office said in an email that no final decision had been made and that the senator was still discussing the issue with his family.

Franken was expected to make a statement on the Senate floor at 11:45 a.m. ET.

Replacement candidates

His potential resignation is setting off a rush to find a possible replacement.

The responsibility to replace the Minnesota Democrat would fall to Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. Dayton must decide whether to appoint a temporary placeholder or try to set someone up for a 2018 special election to finish out Franken's term, which runs through 2020.

Lt. Gov. Tina Smith is near the top of any list, having served as Dayton's second-in-command for three years. Smith is a longtime political operative who ran several campaigns and previously mulled a run for governor. Dayton could also look to Attorney General Lori Swanson or State Auditor Rebecca Otto.

"Enough is enough," said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. "We need to draw a line in the sand and say none of it is OK, none of it is acceptable, and we, as elected leaders, should absolutely be held to a higher standard."

Gillibrand was the first to call for Franken's resignation on Wednesday, but a torrent of Democrats quickly followed.

'Shocked and appalled'

@SenFranken

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