Al Franken should resign immediately

On Thursday morning, Los Angeles radio host Leeann Tweeden wrote a disturbing article alleging that Sen. Al Franken sexually harassed her on a 2006 USO tour. According to Tweeden, Franken coerced her into “rehearing” a kiss for a skit, then forcefully stuck his tongue in her mouth. She also provided a photograph of Franken appearing to grope her while she slept.

There is no rational reason to doubt the truth of Tweeden’s accusations, no legitimate defense of Franken’s actions, and no ambiguity here at all: Franken should resign from the Senate immediately. Democrats should call for him to step down straightaway. This revelation is a test of the Democratic Party’s consistency, honesty, and decency. If Democrats wish to preserve whatever moral standing they have today, they must exhort Franken to leave the Senate, with no hesitation or reservations.

Franken, it seems, won’t go quietly. His first response to Tweeden’s article is a case study in pseudo-apologetic denial, an effort to gaslight Tweeden while purporting to express regret. “I certainly don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way,” Franken said, “but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann.