The story of Senator Al Franken’s demise and his initial defiance by remaining in the Senate is the perfect representation of what the Democratic Party is and the double standard they live by. Democrats preach that they are the party of tolerance, understanding, and diversity, and as long as you tow the party line, sexual indiscretions and violations of the law may be overlooked. However for Senator Franken, these Democratic protections ran out, and he no longer has the protective veil of the DNC or the political elite.
A Senator no more, Al Franken has officially resigned his position coming on the heels of renewed allegations by United States Army Veteran Stephanie Kemplin who claims that Mr. Franken inappropriately touched her during a USO tour. Ms. Kemplin claims that she was sexually accosted by Mr. Franken when she went to go take a picture with him after he had given a performance to some troops. Ms. Kemplin stated of the incident in question that, “When he put his arm around me, he groped my right breast. He kept his hand all the way over on my breast. I’ve never had a man put their arm around me and then cup my breast. So he was holding my breast on the side.” Shocked by what was taking place, Ms. Kemplin froze adding that, “I remember clenching up and how you just feel yourself flushed, and I remember thinking — is he going to move his hand? Was it an accident? Was he going to move his hand? He never moved his hand. It was long enough that he should have known if it was an accident. I’m very confident saying that.”
Ms. Kemplin is one of many women who has accused Mr. Franken of some sort of sexual misconduct, but Ms. Kemplin’s incident is even worse factoring in she was serving in a combat zone as a military police officer, and the last thing she needed was to be sexually molested.
Three years after Ms. Kemplin claimed she was sexually molested by Franken, radio disc jockey Leeann Tweeden claimed that during a 2006 USO tour, Franken forcibly kissed her and grabbed her breasts while she was asleep. After Ms. Tweeden came forward with her accusations, seven other women recounted similar stories of Franken’s sexual deviance.
At the onset of the multiple sexual misconduct allegations against former Senator Franken, he was defiant, claiming those accusing him were mistaken as to what really happened. For a time it seemed as though Franken would stay in office, but the pressure was too great, and adding in the revelation he allegedly assaulted a United States Army veteran proved to be his undoing.
In his letter to Governor Mark Dayton announcing his resignation from the United States Senate, Franken said, “I write to resign my seat as a United States Senator for the State of Minnesota effective at 1pm Eastern Standard Time on January 2nd, 2018. Serving the State of Minnesota in the U.S. Senate has been a privilege and an honor. I am grateful to Minnesotans for giving me the chance to serve our state and our nation, and I am proud to have worked on their behalf”. Franken’s letter of resignation did not address the sexual misconduct claims against him and seemingly acts as if they will simply go away.
— Kyle Potter (@kpottermn) January 2, 2018
Naturally, Franken’s former constituents roasted him on Twitter, seemingly happy that he had resigned, while others pointed out the seemingly insincere letter he sent to Governor Mark Dayton.
When Franken announced he would resign from the U.S. Senate, some of his Democratic brethren came to his defense, urging Franken not to resign, like West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin (D), and was one of many Democrats in the U.S. Senate who felt the extraordinary accusations coming from an honorably discharged U.S. Army veteran didn’t warrant Franken’s departure from the Senate.
The Lt. Gov. of Minnesota, Tina Smith, who is a Democrat, will take Franken’s spot in the Senate, but she will be forced to go through a special election in November. Senator Smith has not addressed the allegations against Franken, but they will surely come up when she has to fight for her seat in November.
There is no word yet on whether or not Franken will face criminal proceedings as a result of these multiple sexual misconduct allegations, but it is safe to assert his political career is over.
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