In statements Wednesday, six of Franken's female Democratic colleagues — Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Patty Murray of Washington and Kamala Harris of California — pushed for him to step down. Murray is the third-ranking Senate Democrat and the highest ranking woman.
We wrote last week that the new accusation from a veteran was totally backing the women into a corner, especially Sen. Gillibrand. I called on Franken to resign that day, because no one person deserves center stage. That may sound unfair, but women have dealt with false accusations for years -- and we know the probability of false accusations varies from 2-8%. When a group of women come forward -- several of them Democrats -- the probability of false accusations dwindles to near zero.
Gilliband said: “I have been shocked and disappointed to learn over the last few weeks that a colleague I am fond of personally has engaged in behavior towards women that is unacceptable,” Gillibrand wrote on Facebook of the allegations that Franken groped and forcibly kissed several women. “While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn’t acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve.”
A new accuser has come forth this am, claiming that Franken tried to forcibly kiss her in 2006.
Presently, two Democratic male senators -- Bob Casey of Pa and Sherrod Brown of Oh -- have joined the women, along with DNC Chair Tom Perez.