News 7 december — 20:27

Under pressure, Democratic Senator Franken to address calls to step down

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 Democratic Senator Al Franken will announce his decision to remain in or resign from the U.S. Senate on Thursday after facing intense pressure from members of his own party to step down following allegations of sexual misconduct, Reuters reports.

Franken, a former comedian who was seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party before accusations surfaced three weeks ago that he had groped or tried to kiss women without their consent, was discussing the matter with his family on Wednesday and no final decision about his future had been made, his office said.

Minnesota Public Radio, citing a Democratic official who had spoken to the senator and aides, reported Franken would resign.

After the initial accusations were first made public, Franken said he would stay in office and work to regain the confidence of the citizens of Minnesota, which he represents in Congress.

But a majority of his Democratic Senate colleagues, including most of the party’s women lawmakers in the chamber, pressed him to step down on Wednesday after a fresh allegation hit the news. Politico reported that a congressional aide said Franken had tried to forcibly kiss her in 2006, before he was first elected to the Senate. Franken denied the allegations, Politico reported.

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