Franken Formally Resigns From Senate

January 2, 2018

Democratic Sen. Al Franken (Minn.) formally resigned from office on Tuesday, nearly a month after he initially announced his departure following multiple groping allegations.

Franken formally issued a letter of resignation to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton on Tuesday. Dayton's lieutenant governor Tina Smith also resigned her post in order to replace Franken, and will take the congressional oath of office Wednesday, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

Associated Press reported Kyle Potter shared a copy of the resignation letter on Twitter.

In November, Los Angeles radio host and model Leeann Tweeden alleged that while serving on a 2006 USO tour with the then-comedian, Franken forcibly kissed her and groped her breasts while she was sleeping. Following the initial accusation, seven other women came forward alleging Franken had touched or kissed them without their consent.

The senator initially resisted attempts to force him out of office, saying he recalled the incidents differently than his accusers. But after dozens of his fellow Democratic senators called for his resignation in early December, he announced his retirement.

Still, the Minnesota Democrat remained in Congress, voting on legislation and giving speeches. It wasn't until two weeks after his announcement that Franken set an official resignation of Jan. 2.

Franken's resignation took effect at 1 p.m. EST. Smith will serve in his stead until January 2019. She also plans to run in a 2018 special election that will determine who will serve out the entirety of Franken's term, which ends in 2020.