US Sens. Reed, Whitehouse call on Sen. Franken to resign

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Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Ron Wyden of Oregon, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Sen. Al Franken to "step aside and let's move on". As the nation grapples with allegations of persistent sexual harassment by powerful men, the resignation of not just one but possibly two prominent Democratic lawmakers would suggest tolerance for lawmakers accused of harassment is waning on Capitol Hill, which has been criticized as soft on perpetrators compared with the private sector.

The calls come as a seventh woman is accusing Franken of harassment, telling a news outlet that he tried to forcibly kiss her three years before he took office.

The senator is facing a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into previous claims by other women that he groped them.

The Minnesota Democrat's office said he would make an announcement Thursday, but did not specify the subject. In a matter of hours, more than 20 Democratic senators called for Franken to step aside. "This morning I spoke with Sen".

"Sen. Al Franken should step down". The wave of allegations began with Leeann Tweeden, who said that Franken aggressively kissed her while they were overseas entertaining the troops and groped her in her sleep. I applaud these women who come forward.

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In a tweet on Wednesday, Sen.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (New York), Patty Murray (Washington), Claire McCaskill (Missouri), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Kamala Harris (California), Maggie Hassan (New Hampshire) and Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin) all issued statements within minutes of each other on Wednesday afternoon. We are now at a crossroads in American culture.

"I know that I am going to have to be much more conscious in these circumstances - much more careful, much more sensitive", Franken said during a press conference last week. Fellow Democrats had previously been cautious and respected Mr. Franken's right to cooperate with an ethics probe.

Franken denied the accusation in a statement to Politico, adding, "the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous".

Franken has apologized for his behavior but he has disputed some of the allegations.

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