Which GOP senators are calling for a Senate investigation into allegations of sexual harassment
WASHINGTON — GOP Sens.
John Barrasso, Mike Crapo and Kelly Ayotte called for a congressional investigation Thursday into sexual harassment allegations against Sen. Al Franken and Rep. John Conyers, who have both resigned.
Franken, who resigned from the Senate earlier this month, is currently awaiting trial in the alleged assault of a woman on a USO tour in Alaska in December.
Franken has denied the allegations, which are separate from a lawsuit alleging that Franken, 63, sexually harassed a woman at a 2008 fundraiser.
“We must do everything in our power to ensure that the facts and circumstances surrounding this situation are fully understood, and the appropriate remedies are applied,” Barrasso and Crapopo said in a joint statement.
“If the Senate Ethics Committee is not able to act, then the Senate must take immediate action.”
Crapos office declined to comment.
Ayotte, who is running for reelection in 2018, did not directly call for an investigation, but called for Congress to take action to hold Franken accountable.
“I think that we need to have the facts before us, and it’s important that the Senate have a thorough investigation, because we all need to know,” she said.
“So, the fact that the House is looking at whether or not to investigate the accusations of sexual misconduct, that’s important to know as well.
That’s why we have the ethics committee.
That has to happen.”
Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, was an early backer of Trump’s campaign and later served as his White House chief of staff.
He announced his resignation on Dec. 19, days after a recording emerged of him making disparaging remarks about women and groping them.
In the recording, he says that he can “grab them by the p—y” and then proceeds to grope them without their consent.
He has since apologized, and Trump has called the recording “locker room banter.”
The White House has said the president does not remember making those comments, and he has also defended his comments by saying he was being sarcastic.
“These were offensive, inexcusable, inappropriate and indefensible,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Thursday.
“The president has apologized and taken responsibility for his remarks and the recording.”
Cops say a man accused of groping a woman in Washington, D.C., was charged after she complained.
| AP Photo Senators urge Franken’s impeachment Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called for an impeachment investigation into Franken, saying he has “violated the norms of decency that we expect of our leaders, which include the right to engage in private conversations about one’s private life.”
The Arizona Republican said Franken “has engaged in behavior that is intolerable, unbecoming and disgraceful.”
McCain, a Republican, also said he was calling for an independent Senate Ethics panel to investigate Franken’s conduct.
“In light of this disturbing situation, I believe it is time to hold hearings to determine whether Senator Franken has committed or is engaging in the very serious, and arguably criminal, conduct that has been alleged,” McCain said in the statement.
Crapes for Congress: Trump’s pick to head the Office of Compliance, Rep. Trent Franks, R, Ariz., has been accused of sexual assault.
| Politico article Crapolis office declined comment.
Franks has also denied the claims.
“While we have no evidence of any inappropriate behavior by Senator Franks, we have a zero-tolerance policy for any kind of misconduct and expect every member of Congress to follow this zero-distraction policy,” his office said in an emailed statement.
The House Ethics Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A spokesperson for Sen. Susan Collins, R -Maine, did respond to questions about the allegations.
Collins is running in 2020 for a second term as the GOP’s only senator from Maine.
Collins said Thursday that she would not support an impeachment hearing and did not say whether she would support a criminal investigation.
“Senator Franken has apologized for his behavior.
We will continue to focus on the important work of our nation’s leaders in the wake of the election, and I will continue working on behalf of the people of Maine to ensure the country is safe, secure and prosperous,” Collins said in her statement.
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said she will not support a Senate probe into Franken.
“No one should be treated in a way that disrespects women, disrespects their families, disrespectfully and demeans their humanity.
I am tired of politicians abusing women in the workplace, or in the political arena.
I have always believed that men should not be in politics.
But as a woman who has experienced sexual harassment in my own life, I can no longer support a Senator who has behaved so disrespectfully to women,” she wrote in a statement.
Franken was the first sitting member of the Senate to resign after an accusation of sexual behavior.
The latest allegations came as a group of women from across the country gathered