US Senator Franken resigns after sexual harassment claims

Washington, Jan 3 : Democrat Senator Al Franken has officially submitted his resignation after being pressured late last year to step down in the face of sexual misconduct allegations, the media reported.

File Photo: Al Franken

“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 on Tuesday wrote in his resignation letter to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton.

Franken’s replacement, Lt. Governor Tina Smith will be sworn in on Wednesday, reports The Hill magazine.

Franken, who had apologised for any offence he may have given and had offered to undergo an ethics investigation by the Senate, has been one of the most popular Democratic senators and his name had begun to be heard in discussions about a possible presidential run in 2020.

The 66-year-old former comedian, who was elected to the Senate in 2009 was accused of kissing and touching several women without their consent in incidents occurring between 2003 and 2010, reports Efe news.

The US in recent months has been experiencing a wave of accusations of sexual harassment starting with the Hollywood scandal involving film producer Harvey Weinstein and spreading into politics and other realms.

Several other members of Congress have also resigned recently amid sexual misconduct charges, including Democrats John Conyers and Ruben Kihuen and Republicans Trent Franks and Blake Farenthold.