Mitch McConnell (left) wants the Ethics Committee to investigate Al Franken (right). Photos: AP
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has called on the Ethics Committee to formally investigate Sen. Al Franken's behavior, per Politico. This comes after a report that Sen. Franken kissed and groped a journalist in 2006 without her consent. Sen. Franken announced in an updated statement that he is also asking that an ethics investigation be undertaken and that he will cooperate. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement he expects the committee to investigate the conduct. A spokesperson for the chairman of the ethics committee, Sen. Johnny Isakson, shared no comment on the matter.
Why it matters: McConnell has a long history of taking sexual misconduct claims seriously, especially when it meant saving the Senate and the GOP's image, as NYT's Carl Hulse details. (He was previously the chairman of the Ethics Committee.) Calling for a formal investigation suggests that McConnell will continue to pursue these claims in the larger effort to clean up the sexual harassment that has been reportedly rampant on Capitol Hill.
"As with all credible allegations of sexual harassment or assault, I believe the Ethics Committee should review the matter. I hope the Democratic Leader will join me on this," McConnell said. "Regardless of party, harassment and assault are completely unacceptable—in the workplace or anywhere else." Minutes later,
This post has been updated.