Democratic Sen. Al Franken on Thursday said he will resign from the Senate in the coming weeks when confronted with mounting accusations of sexual misconduct.
This is a complete transcript of Al Franken’s resignation speech, delivered on the Senate ground the morning hours of Dec. 7, 2017.
A couple months ago I felt that people had entered a significant moment in the annals of this country. We were finally beginning to pay attention to women about the ways that men’s activities affect them.
The moment was long overdue.
We was excited for that dialogue and hopeful that it could result in real switch that made existence better for women all over the country and atlanta divorce attorneys part of our culture. Then the conversation considered me.
Over the last couple of weeks, numerous women have come forward to talk about how exactly they felt my personal actions had damaged them. I was, I was shocked. I was upset.
But in responding to their claims I also wanted to be respectful of that broader conversation, because all women deserve to be heard and their activities taken seriously.
I think that was the right thing to do. I likewise think it provided some people the misconception that I was admitting to doing things that actually I haven’t done.
A few of the allegations against me personally are simply not true. Others I recall very differently.
I said first that the ethics committee was the right location for these allegations to be heard and investigated and evaluated on the merits. That I was ready to cooperate completely and that I was confident in the results.
You know a significant portion of the conversation we have been having last few months has been about how exactly men abused their power and privilege to hurt women of all ages.
We am proud that within my amount of time in the Senate I have used my capacity to be considered a champion of women and that I have earned a reputation just as someone who respects the ladies I work alongside everyday. I know there’s been an extremely different picture of me painted during the last few weeks, but I know who I really am.
Serving in the usa Senate possesses been the fantastic honor of my life. I find out in my own heart that nothing I have completed as a senator – nothing – has taken dishonor on this institution, and I am confident that the ethics committee would consent.
Nevertheless, today I am announcing that on the coming weeks I am resigning as an associate of america Senate.
I of all people am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving even while a man who have has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Workplace and a man who have has repeatedly preyed on girls campaigns for the Senate with the full support of his party.
But this decision isn’t about me. It’s about the people of Minnesota.
It is becoming clear that I can’t both pursue the ethics committee process and at the same time remain an effective senator for them. Let me be clear: I might be resigning my seat but I am not giving up my voice.
We will continue to operate for the items I believe in as a citizen and has an activist. But Minnesotans are worthy of a senator who can focus with all her energy on addressing the issues they face every day.
There is a big part of me which will always regret needing to walk away out of this job with therefore substantially work left to be achieved. But I have faith that the work will continue because I have faith in the people who have helped me perform it.
I have faith in the dedicated, funny, selfless, brilliant teenagers and women on my personnel. They have a lot more to donate to our country, and I am hoping that as disappointed as they may come to feel today, everyone who has worked for me knows just how much I admire and respect them.
I have faith in my own colleagues, specifically my senior Senator Amy Klobuchar. I’d not have had the opportunity to do this job without her assistance and wisdom. And I have faith, or at least trust, that participants of this Senate will see the political courage necessary to keep asking the tough questions, keep this administration accountable and operate for the truth.
I have faith in the activists who organized to greatly help me get my first marketing campaign and who have kept on organizing to greatly help fight for the people who needed us. Kids facing bullying. Seniors concerned about the cost of prescription drugs. Native Americans who have been overlooked for far too long. Working people who have been taken on the chin for a era. Everyone in the centre school and everyone aspiring to become listed on it.
I have faith in the proud legacy of progressive advocacy that I have had the privilege to become a part of. I believe I’ve almost certainly repeated these words 10,000 times over the years: Paul Wellstone’s famous quote, “The near future belongs to those who are passionate and do the job hard.” It’s still accurate. It will always be true.
And almost all of all I have faith in Minnesota. A big component of this job is certainly going around the status and hearing what people need to have from Washington. But generally when I’m residence I am impressed by just how much Minnesota has to offer the entire country and the entire world.
The people I’ve had the honor of representing are brilliant and innovative and hard-working, and whoever holds this seat subsequent will inherit the challenge I’ve enjoyed for the last eight . 5 years: being as good as the people you serve.
This has been a hardcore few weeks for me personally, but I am an extremely, very lucky man. I have a beautiful healthy family members that I really like and that loves me very much. I’m going to be just fine.
I’d only like to get rid of with one very last thing: I did not grow up attempting to be considered a politician. I found this relatively past due in life.
We had to learn a lot on the fly. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t generally fun, and I’m not only talking about today. This is a hard thing to do with your existence. There are a great number of long hours and past due nights and hard lessons, and there is absolutely no guarantee that your entire do the job and sacrifice will ever pay off.
I won my primary election by 312 votes. Could have quickly gone the other approach. And even though you win, progress is far from inevitable.
Paul Wellstone spent his expereince of living working for mental well being parity, and it didn’t pass until 6 years after Paul died.
This year a lot of folks who didn’t grow up imagining that they’d ever try politics have done just that. They’ve gone to their first protest march or manufactured their earliest call to an associate of Congress or maybe even taken the leap and set their names on a ballot for the first time.
It really is such a hurry to look around a space full people prepared to fight alongside you, to believe that energy, to assume that better items are possible.
Nevertheless, you too will knowledge setbacks and defeats and disappointments. You will have days and nights when you will think about be it worth it.
What I’d like you to know is that right now, even on the worst day of my political existence, Personally i think like it’s all been worthwhile.
Politics, Paul Wellstone told us, is about the improvement of people’s lives. I know that the work I am able to do has improved people’s lives. I’d do it all once more in a heartbeat.
For a decade now, every time I’d get tired or discouraged or frustrated, I’d think about the people I was doing this for and it could get me back through to my feet.
I know the same will be true for everybody who decides to pursue a good politics that’s about enhancing people’s lives. And I am hoping you find out that I am fighting alongside you every stage of the way.
With that, Mr. President, I yield the ground.