On Thursday, Joe Crowley — leader of the House Democratic Caucus — took a staunch position against two members of his own party: he said congressional Democrats John Conyers and Al Franken should resign.
The statement comes at the end of a wealth of exposure, spotlighting the improprieties of both politicians. In Franken’s case, six women have come forward so far, implicating the Minnesota senator in a range of sexual misdeeds from harassment to outright assault. One photograph which has gone ultraviral depicts Franken with his hands on or just above a woman’s breasts. The victim, KABC’s Leeann Tweeden, said of Franken’s behavior toward her:
"I couldn’t believe it. He groped me, without my consent, while I was asleep. I felt violated…Embarrassed. Belittled. Humiliated…How dare anyone grab my breasts like this and think it's funny?”
As for Conyers, two former staffers have accused the Michigan Representative of extreme misconduct. One of the women — Deanna Maher — claimed he harassed and touched her on three occasions while she worked in his office between 1997 and 2005. As for the other woman, Conyers settled with her in 2015 for $27,000 over sexual harassment; she claimed in a television interview that he physically violated her and repeatedly asked her for sex.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Paul Ryan have already voiced their opinion that the degraded Democrats should call it quits. Crowley joins them and others, making clear his opinion:
"I think it's time for Sen. Franken to go...In my opinion, I think it's time for John to resign; and I think under the circumstances, given the new revelations about the senator as well, I think it's time for both of them to go."
The call for resignation is growing ever louder, though remains to be seen whether they will step down. Being Democrats, it's unlikely; President Clinton set that precedent a long time ago.