WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and the allegations of sexual misconduct against him (all times local):
Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine is asking about the number of sexual harassment claims filed against senators and staffers, along with the amount of money spent on settlement of harassment cases.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., left, and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., center, head to the Senate floor for votes on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday evening, Nov. 27, 2017. President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans are scrambling to change a Republican tax bill in an effort to win over holdout GOP senators and pass a tax package by the end of the year. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Kaine writes in a letter to the Senate Office of Compliance that he will publicly release any information he receives to promote greater awareness of the problem and develop solutions.
The Virginia senator’s letter comes as Democrat Al Franken of Minnesota is under pressure to resign from the Senate amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
The House has revealed it paid $84,000 in taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment complaint against Texas Republican congressman Blake Farenthold. Settlements by senators, if any, have not been made public.
Kaine says sexual misconduct continues to be a barrier against gender equality.
Sen. Al Franken will say whether he is resigning in a speech on the Senate floor at 11:45 a.m.
Franken is under intense pressure to step down as allegations of sexual misconduct have mounted, with at least eight women accusing him of acting inappropriately.
The Minnesota senator’s support among fellow Democrats crumbled on Wednesday after a woman accused Franken of trying to forcibly kiss her in 2006. Hours later another woman said Franken inappropriately squeezed “a handful of flesh” on her waist while posing for a photo with her in 2009.
A tweet on Franken’s Twitter account Wednesday evening said Franken was talking with his family, and any report of a final decision his future was inaccurate.
Minnesota Democrat Al Franken, facing fresh allegations of sexual misconduct and vanishing support from fellow Democrats, appears to be on the brink of resigning from the Senate.
Franken scheduled an announcement for Thursday, though his office tweeted Wednesday evening that he had not made “a final decision” on resigning.
But a majority of the Senate’s Democrats called on the two-term lawmaker to quit after a woman emerged Wednesday morning saying he forcibly tried to kiss her in 2006. Hours later, another woman said Franken inappropriately squeezed “a handful of flesh” on her waist while posing for a photo with her in 2009.
That brought the number of women alleging misconduct by Franken to at least eight.
In this Nov. 27, 2017 photo, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington. Franken is denying an accusation by a former Democratic congressional aide that he tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., answers a question about her statement on Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., at the end of a news conference on sexual harassment in the workplace, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
From left, Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Gretchen Carlson, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., hold a news conference to introduce legislation to curb sexual harassment in the workplace, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. Gillibrand and fellow female Democratic senators have united in calling for Sen. Al Franken to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., listens during a news conference on sexual harassment, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sen. Al Franken’s support among his fellow Democrats is cratering as a host of female Democratic senators Wednesday called upon him to resign. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Members of the media are lined up outside the Senate office of Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in Washington. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and fellow female Democratic senators have united in calling for SFranken to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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