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Schumer is 33rd Dem senator to call for Franken's resignation

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for Al Franken to resign
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is the first Democratic senator calling on Al Franken to resign. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Mazie Hirono and Claire McCaskill were the first Democratic senators to call for Sen. Al Franken to resign this morning after a 7th woman accused him of sexual misconduct. Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Minority Leader, became the 33rd on Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: The Democrats have rounded on their own. Rep. John Conyers resigned just yesterday over sexual misconduct allegations, and Franken is expected to resign tomorrow. This is creating an expectation, on the Democratic side, that credible allegations are enough to warrant a senior official's resignation.

The senators calling for his resignation:

  1. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY): "While Senator Franken is entitled to have the Ethics Committee conclude its review, I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn't acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve."
  2. Mazie Hirono (HI): "Today, I am calling on my colleague Al Franken to step aside. I've struggled with this decision because he's been a good Senator and I consider him a friend. But that cannot excuse his behavior and his mistreatment of women."
  3. Claire McCaskill (MO): "Al Franken should resign."
  4. Maggie Hassan (NH): "It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women. He should resign."
  5. Patty Murray (WA): "I'm shocked and appalled by Senator Franken's behavior. It's clear to me that this has been a deeply harmful, persistent problem and a clear pattern over a long period of time. It's time for him to step aside."
  6. Tammy Baldwin (WI): "I believe it is best for Senator Franken to resign."
  7. Kamala Harris (CA): "Sexual harassment and misconduct should not be allowed by anyone and should not occur anywhere. I believe the best thing for Senator Franken to do is step down."
  8. Bob Casey (PA): "I agree with my colleagues who have stepped forward today and called on Senator Franken to resign. We can't just believe women when it's convenient."
  9. Sherrod Brown (OH): "I agree the time has come for Senator Franken to step aside. ... We should be held to the highest standards, not the lowest."
  10. Joe Donnelly (IN): "Senator Franken's conduct and behavior are unacceptable and he should resign. I believe there is more work to be done to protect victims of sexual harassment and to reform the system of filing and settling harassment claims in Congress."
  11. Debbie Stabenow (MI): "Sexual harassment is unacceptable. I believe Senator Franken should do the right thing and resign."
  12. Heidi Heitkamp (ND): "We must commit to zero tolerance – which is where I believe we as a country and Congress should be – and that means Senator Franken should step down."
  13. Ed Markey (MA): "I join my colleagues in calling for Senator Franken to step aside and resign. Sexual harassment is unacceptable, completely inappropriate and cannot be tolerated."
  14. Michael Bennet (CO): "Sexual harassment and misconduct are never acceptable. I understand Senator Franken will make an announcement tomorrow morning, and I'm confident he'll do the right thing and step aside."
  15. Dianne Feinstein (CA): "It's clear the American people don't look lightly on these kinds of actions, no matter who they're committed by, and the number of complaints against Senator Franken is a concern. I think resignation is the right thing for him to do."
  16. Pat Leahy (VT): "I am concerned that even a prompt Ethics Committee investigation and recommendations will not come soon enough. He has to step aside. I hope as a nation that we are beginning to come to terms with the systemic problem of sexual harassment and assault, but we still have a long way to go."
  17. Tammy Duckworth (IL): "I am deeply disappointed by Senator Franken's behavior. He must step aside. To all those across America who have come forward with their stories: thank you."
  18. Dick Durbin (IL): "Senator Franken's behavior was wrong. He has admitted to what he did. He should resign from the Senate."
  19. Maria Cantwell (WA): "Senator Franken's actions are disturbing, egregious, and demonstrate a pattern of serious misconduct and abuse. It is time for Senator Franken to resign from office."
  20. Martin Heinrich (NM): "Senator Franken needs to step down and we all need to do more to make clear that sexual harassment and assault are unacceptable."
  21. Jeff Merkley (OR): "Senator Franken has said he will make an announcement tomorrow, and I hope that he will do the right thing. It is in the best interest of our country for him to step aside."
  22. Ron Wyden (OR): "I expect that Senator Franken will announce his resignation tomorrow. It is the right thing to do given this series of serious allegations."
  23. Tom Carper (DE): "Al Franken has been a friend to many in the Senate – Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike – but these allegations are deeply troubling, especially as the number has grown. I believe it's time for him to resign."
  24. Bernie Sanders (VT- I): "Sen. Franken has said that he will be making an announcement about his political future tomorrow. The right thing is for him to resign."
  25. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI): "Given what we have learned in recent weeks, I expect Senator Franken to step aside."
  26. Angus King (ME-I): "For me, I think it's time for my friend to resign."
  27. Elizabeth Warren (MA): She advised Franken to resign, per the Boston Globe.
  28. Cory Booker (NJ): "These courageous women have come forward and I think clearly this last revelation adds to what seems to be a pattern here... it is is right that he should step down at this point."
  29. Chris Murphy (CT): "I believe the best course of action for him right now is to step down, as I expect her will do tomorrow."
  30. Tom Udall (NM): Senator Franken should send a strong message that sexual misconduct is unacceptable in any setting and step down.
  31. Gary Peters (MI): "I think the time has come for Senator Franken to step down."
  32. Jon Tester (MT): "Elected officials must be held to a high standard, Al Franken is no exception. It's time for him to step down."
  33. Chuck Schumer (NY): "I consider Senator Franken a dear friend and greatly respect his accomplishments, but he has a higher obligation to his constituents and the Senate, and he should step down immediately."
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D.C.'s March for our Lives: "The voters are coming"

Protestor at D.C.'s March for our Lives.
Protestor at D.C.'s March for our Lives. Photo: Axios' Stef Kight.

D.C.'s March for our Lives event is expected to see more than half a million participants.

Why it matters: While D.C. is the primary march, there are hundreds of others around the world and across the country. Led by students, the march is "to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address" gun issues, per the organization's mission statement.

Haley Britzky 6 hours ago
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DOJ eyeing tool to allow access to encrypted data on smartphones

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

The Justice Department is in "a preliminary stage" of discussions about requiring tech companies building "tools into smartphones and other devices" that would allow law enforcement investigators to access encrypted data, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: This has been on the FBI's mind since 2010, and last month the White House "circulated a memo...outlining ways to think about solving the problem," officials told the Times. Both FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, support finding ways for law enforcement to access data without compromising devices security.