US Senator Al Franken yesterday said he will resign in the face of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against him, becoming the second prominent Democrat to be forced out in a week over the snowballing harassment allegations convulsing the country.
Franken -- a former comedian who made his name on the popular late-night show "Saturday Night Live" -- announced his decision in an emotional yet somewhat defiant address from the floor of the Senate, where dozens of his colleagues had demanded he step down.
The once-popular 66-year-old Minnesota lawmaker apologized last month after acknowledging one incident of misconduct, vowing to work to regain public trust.
But with six other women now reportedly coming forward to accuse Franken of touching them inappropriately, a chorus of Democratic senators said it was time for him to go.
The first allegation against Franken -- for which he has apologized -- was made by sports broadcaster and former model Leeann Tweeden, who said he forcibly kissed her, and touched her without consent as she slept, during a 2006 tour entertaining US troops deployed in Afghanistan.
But several other women have since come forward to say he groped them, triggering the revolt by female lawmakers against their own colleague.
In a well-coordinated social media attack, 12 of the Senate's 16 Democratic women took to Twitter or Facebook to demand Franken's resignation.
Seventeen male colleagues followed. It marked a dramatic and sudden show of unity against one of their own in the 100-member chamber, where the Republicans hold a slim majority.