Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) announces his resignation in a speech on the Senate floor.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) on Thursday resigned following accusations of sexual misconduct from multiple women and rapidly losing the support of many fellow Democrats.
"I know in my heart that I have done nothing - nothing - that has brought dishonor to this institution," he said on the Senate floor. "Nevertheless, I am announcing that in the coming weeks I am resigning from the Senate."
"The decision is not about me," Franken continued. "It's about the people of Minnesota."
"It's become clear that I can't pursue the [Senate] Ethics Committee process and remain an effective senator for them. I may be resigning my seat but I am not giving up my voice."
Franken added that he was "shocked" and "dismayed" when the first woman accused him of sexual misconduct last month before noting "all women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously."
"I think that was the right thing to do," he said of the women who came forward against him. "Some of the allegations against me are not true. Others I remember very differently."
"[But] an important part of the conversation we've having the last few months is how men abuse their power and privilege to hurt women," Franken added.
"I am proud that during my time in the Senate I have used my power to be a champion to women. I know who I really am. I know that there has been a very different picture of me painted over the last few weeks."
Franken called Thursday "the worst day of his political life," but noted he would lead a satisfying life upon exiting public office in the coming weeks.
"This has been a tough few weeks for me," he said. "I have a beautiful, healthy family that I love and that loves me very much. I will be just fine."
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) will deliver a speech on the Senate floor at 11:45 a.m. EST.
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) on Thursday addressed the growing outcry against his alleged sexual misconduct amid calls for his resignation.
Minnesota Public Radio on Wednesday reported that a Democratic official who had spoken to Franken and some of his key aides the night before said the senator would step down the next day.
The official spoke separately to Franken and his staff, with one aide noting the lawmaker had traveled to his Washington, D.C., home to discuss his future with his family.
Franken's official Twitter account on Wednesday, however, pushed back on MPR's report, calling it "not accurate" and noting "no final decision had been made."
Thursday's press conference follows a flood of more than 30 Democratic senators demanding that Franken resign the day before.
Multiple women have accused Franken of groping or kissing them without consent in the past after the first accusations against him emerged last month.
Franken has previously said he is "embarrassed and ashamed" by the allegations against him, and he also pledged to cooperate with a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into his behavior.