Senator Al Franken is in deeper trouble than perhaps he anticipated over the allegations of sexual assault leveled by Leeann Tweeden, a model, sportscaster, and media personality.
Mitch McConnell’s call for an ethics investigation into Franken is one thing. But, for top Senate Democrats to also make that call is another thing entirely. Franken himself, realizing the gravity of the situation, said in a longer statement that he welcomed the investigation.
At the top of the list of Democrats making statements about Franken is Chuck Schumer, who earlier today had to cancel a press conference seemingly because of the scandal.
I hope and expect that the Ethics Committee will fully investigate this troubling incident, as they should with any credible allegation of sexual harassment.
Dick Durbin, who is the second-most powerful Democrat in the Senate, added his statement:
There is never an excuse for this behavior—ever. What Senator Franken did was wrong, and it should be referred to the Ethics Committee for review.
Patty Murray also released a statement.
This is unacceptable behavior and extremely disappointing. I am glad that Al came out and apologized, but that doesn’t reverse what he’s done or end the matter. I support an ethics committee investigation into these accusations and I hope this latest example of the deep problems on this front spurs continued action to address it.
The Democrats’ rush to come out with statements is understandable, given the current air in Washington and around the country. Given their outcry against Roy Moore, the Republican Senate candidate of Alabama accused of having relationships with underage and teenage girls, it would be outright foolish of them to hold back their condemnations.
If nothing else, it is nice to see Democrats not waiting twenty years to condemn a sexual assault that is alleged to have been committed by one of their own.