CHICAGO (CBS) — Both U.S senators from Illinois joined a rapidly growing list of their colleagues, calling on Al Franken to resign.
In a tweet, Sen. Dick Durbin said:
In a statement, Sen. Tammy Duckworth said:
Another woman has spoken out, saying the Minnesota senator tried to forcibly kiss her. Today, several senators said it is time for Franken to step down.
Franken plans an annoucmenment on Thursday.
Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., were among the Democratic women calling for Franken to quit.
The calls came as another woman accused Franken of sexual misconduct in an account provided to Politico. The accusation brought to seven the number of women accusing Franken of sexual impropriety.
The demands came in rapid succession after Franken on Wednesday vehemently denied a new sexual misconduct accusation that came from a former Democratic congressional aide, who said he tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006.
The Minnesota Democrat said in a statement that the allegation, reported by Politico, was “categorically not true.”
The woman, who was not identified, said Franken pursued her after her boss had left and she was collecting her belongings. She said she ducked to avoid his lips, and that Franken told her: “It’s my right as an entertainer.”
Franken, in his statement, said the idea he would claim such conduct as a right as an entertainer was “preposterous.”
But the tide quickly turned against Franken Wednesday morning. Fellow Democrats had previously been cautious and respected Franken’s right to cooperate with an ethics probe. But the steady stream of allegations has female Democrats fed up.
Other Democratic women demanding Franken’s resignation included Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., called on Franken to step down. Men calling for Franken’s resignation included Minority Whip Durbin, D-Ill., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Bob Casey, D-Pa., Ed Markey, D-Mass., Joe Donnelly of Indiana, and Sherrod Brown of Ohio.
The pressure built on Franken a day after former Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., resigned after numerous allegations of sexual misconduct.
The Associated Press contributed