DENVER – U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, a Democrat from Colorado, said Wednesday he was “confident” that Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., would “do the right thing and step aside” amid multiple allegations that Franken sexually harassed or assaulted various women.
“Sexual harassment and misconduct are never acceptable,” Bennet said in a statement posted to Twitter, noting that Franken said minutes earlier he would make an announcement Thursday morning.
Sexual harassment and misconduct are never acceptable. I understand Senator Franken will make an announcement tomorrow morning, and I'm confident he'll do the right thing and step aside.
— Michael F. Bennet (@SenBennetCO) December 6, 2017
Bennet statement comes after DNC chairman Tom Perez and a host of other Democratic senators in a fell swoop called for Franken’s resignation Wednesday morning. As of publication of this article, at least nine women and five men from the Democratic side of the Senate were calling for Franken to resign.
Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., resigned from his longtime post in the House of Representatives Tuesday amid multiple sexual harassment or assault allegations made against him as well.
The Democrats’ push for the resignation of two of their own comes amid high pressure on the Republican party over Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of several women of sexually assaulting them—some while they were underage.
Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, is also under scrutiny for a taxpayer-funded payout to settle a harassment claim made against him.
The Senate Ethics Committee is investigating Franken after the first allegation against him was made by Leeann Tweeden, a former news anchor. Five others—both named and unnamed—have since come forward with allegations against him.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would leave it up to the voters of Alabama to decide if Moore is fit for office, but on Wednesday called for Franken to resign, saying "the near daily barrage of allegations of sexual misconduct against Senator Franken are extremely concerning to all of us in the Senate."
"I do not believe he can effectively serve the people of Minnesota in the U.S. Senate any longer," McConnell said in a statment.
The Alabama special election between he and Democrat Doug Jones is set for next Tuesday, Dec. 12.
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., the chair of the NRSC, has urged his Senate GOP colleagues to expel Moore from office should he be elected.