In response to the claim, Franken said: "This allegation is categorically not true and the idea that I would claim this as my right as an entertainer is preposterous". Gov. Mark Dayton will appoint a replacement.
Part of the reason for picking Smith, according to the sources, is she has indicated in the past she has no interest in running for a D.C. office, and would therefore create an open Democratic primary in 2018, which would be held to fill the final two years of Franken's term ending in 2020.
Multiple women accused Franken of inappropriately touching them or attempting to kiss them.
Contrast that with Franken's statement, at a news conference late last month, that, "there are some women, and one is too many, who feel that I have done something disrespectful that's hurt them, and for that I am tremendously sorry".
Franken said that in responding to women's reports of his behavior, he "wanted to be respectful" of the broader conversation around harassment and men's abuses of power. "I look forward to fully cooperating with the ongoing ethics committee investigation".
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The victor of a special election in November 2018 would serve through to the end of Mr Franken's term in January of 2021.
"Enough is enough", Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said.
"No, we don't intend to do so", said Texas Democratic Party Deputy Executive Director Manny Garcia, when asked whether the party would return or donate the money raised with the help of Franken to charity.
"This has been a tough few weeks for me", Franken said, thanking his family for their support.
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It's pretty clear that Franken is resigning only under duress. When she turned around, Franken was in her face.
Senator Al Franken announced today that he will be resigning amid sexual misconduct allegations.
Franken apologized following her account's publishing.
A former Democratic congressional aide said Al Franken tried to forcibly kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006, three years before he became a US senator.
Other allegations followed, including a woman who claims Mr Franken put his hand on her buttocks as they posed for a photo at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010.
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An Army veteran told CNN later that Franken groped her on a USO tour as well before he was a senator. Even the possibility of a vacant U.S. Senate seat had political operatives scrambling to compile research on the large and growing number of potential candidates.