Rick Olson: Senator Al Franken Has to Go

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 26, 2017. The day before, the committee rescinded a subpoena it had issued for Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, to appear here. (Tom Brenner/copyright 2017 The New York Times)

Minnesota’s junior U.S. Senator, Democrat Al Franken, has recently been accused of inappropriate behavior by at least four different women. These women detailed four separate incidents dating back to before he was first elected to the Senate in 2008. Their stories have been deemed to be credible. Accordingly, I believe that Sen. Franken has lost all credibility and for the good of the people of Minnesota who he represents, the senator must resign.

I don’t live in Minnesota and accordingly am not one of the senator’s constituents. If Franken had been accused of one isolated incident, that would be a whole different thing. Now that multiple women have come forward with their accusations, I’m afraid Franken has lost all credibility and has become a big distraction.

When all is said and done, I believe Franken won’t have much choice but to resign in order to save face.

A number of people, in an unrelated matter, have called upon President Trump to resign, since some 15 women have also come forward to accuse him of instances of alleged inappropriate behavior. The big difference there is that all of the President’s accusers have alleged acts which took place well before he became President.

Franken, on the other hand, has had four women come forward with credible accusations of inappropriate acts, which allegedly took place before and after he was sworn into office as a U.S. Senator.

The accusations against Franken are beginning to pile up. Now that multiple women have come forward with various allegations of inappropriate behavior by now-Sen. Franken, the Senate Ethics Committee won’t have any choice but to launch a full investigation into these matters. When all is said and done, I believe Franken won’t have much choice but to resign in order to save face.

He’s been pretty defiant, but apologetic, about all this up to now. Franken needs to realize there is a point where even his strongest of supporters will start to turn against him. I really think he has reached that point.

I honestly don’t see a scenario under which Franken can legitimately continue in office and complete his current term, which still has two years to run. There will always be a cloud of controversy hanging over him about these reported incidents.

The whole thing about Franken is sad. He was pretty funny as a comedian during his “Saturday Night Live” television show days. However, as a politician, he just hasn’t been hitting the mark. It’s been said that he is a rising star in the Democratic Party. Franken has been talked about in a number of circles as being a potential Democratic Party presidential candidate in 2020.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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