Think about this: You’re a well-known U.S. Senator accused of sexual assault, and there’s picture evidence. You agree to an ethics investigation into your own behavior, and some of your coworkers and constituents call for you to resign. What would you do?
If you’re Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), then you would apparently just “reflect” on the whole situation. At least that’s what Franken’s spokesperson told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Sunday. “He is spending time with his family in Washington, D.C., and will be through the Thanksgiving holiday,” the spokesperson said, “and he’s doing a lot of reflecting.”
Franken has since apologized twice to his accuser, Leeann Tweeden, who accepted his apology, but a couple prominent Democratic allies will not let Franken get off so easily.
The Washington Examiner reported that Rebecca Otto and Megan Thomas of Franken’s Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party both called for his resignation.
Otto, a candidate for governor in Minnesota, stated:
I believe it's in the best interest of Minnesotans and of women everywhere for Senator Franken to resign, and to set an example to powerful men across America that sexual harassment will not be tolerated.
Thomas, a political organizer for the party, went so far as to call Franken’s behavior "every woman's worst nightmare on a bus." “The 'political' answer is to wait and not overreact. But I also know that the next time I see him in person I will, however fleeting or unneeded, be afraid because of what he is doing in that picture. No one should fear their elected representatives, so, sadly, for me, I think the Senator should resign,” Thomas wrote in a now deleted Facebook post.
Interestingly, Franken’s Democratic colleagues in the Senate have not gone as far as Otto and Thomas in calling for the Minnesota Senator’s resignation. Instead, they have called for an ethics investigation into the matter, one that the Star-Tribune reported could take up to three years to accomplish.