“Let me be clear: I may be resigning my seat but I am not giving up my voice.”

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) announced his resignation from the Senate on Thursday after eight women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against him.

“Let me be clear,” Franken said as he announced his decision on the Senate floor. “I may be resigning my seat but I am not giving up my voice. I will continue to stand up for the things I believe in as a citizen and as an activist.”

Franken’s stunning departure began as a slow burn in November, when radio personality Leeann Tweeden, accused Franken of forcibly kissing and groping her on a USO tour in 2006. Franken apologized and said he recalled the incident differently, but several other women came forward in the intervening weeks with accusations of groping or inappropriate touching.

The Senate Ethics Committee had begun investigating the incidents involving Franken — something the senator himself had called for after the initial allegations against him. But on Wednesday, two more women came forward with stories of misconduct, and several female Democratic senators began calling for the Minnesota senator to step down. More joined the chorus, and leading to Franken’s floor speech Thursday morning.

“Serving in the United States Senate has been the great honor of my life,” Franken said. “I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator — nothing — has brought dishonor on this institution. And I am confident that the ethics committee would agree. Nevertheless, today I am announcing that in the coming weeks I will be resigning as a member of the United States.”

The senator struck an embittered tone, casting doubt on some of the allegations against him and expressing frustration at the circumstances of his departure. Read More Here