Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) said on Sunday that colleague Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) has faced sexual misconduct allegations "in a responsible way."
Durbin called for "due process" during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union."
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Al Franken has acknowledged what he did was wrong, and it was wrong. He's also submitted his whole case to the Senate Ethics Committee. I think that was the right thing to do. Let's have a hearing, an investigation. Let's let this really reach whatever conclusion it's going to reach, but through a due process. That to me makes sense. Others who have tried to run away through charges–you have to say Al Franken has faced it, and he's done it in a responsible way.
Four women have now come forward and accused Franken of sexual misconduct.
Leeann Tweeden first came forward on Nov. 16 to allege Franken, then working as a comedian, forcibly kissed and groped her when they were performing for a United Service Organizations (USO) tour in 2006. There was a picture taken of Franken where he appears to grope Tweeden's breasts while she was asleep. The senator apologized to Tweeden for his actions.
A second woman, Lindsay Menz, told CNN that Franken grabbed her butt when they took a picture together at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. The senator said he doesn't remember the incident and felt bad Menz felt "disrespected."
HuffPost reported last week that two more women have come forward with accusations Franken inappropriately touched them.
Despite being "embarrassed and ashamed" by his actions, Franken has no intention of resigning from the Senate.
"I'm embarrassed and ashamed. I've let a lot of people down, and I'm hoping I can make it up to them and gradually regain their trust," Franken said in a recent interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "I’m looking forward to getting back to work tomorrow."
None of the senator's Democratic colleagues have called for his resignation. Most state they want to wait for the ethics committee investigation to conclude before making a determination of whether Franken should resign or not.