Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a tweet Thursday that he expects that Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) will be investigated by the upper chamber's Ethics Committee, following allegations leveled by reporter Leeann Tweeden that he groped her in her sleep and kissed her without her consent in 2006.
Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, added that "there is no excuse for this behavior — ever." Other prominent upper-chamber Democrats, including Sens. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Tim Kaine (Va.), and Tammy Duckworth (Ill.), echoed the calls for an Ethics Committee investigation. Franken himself also said he would "gladly cooperate" with such a probe.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was the first prominent senator from either party to call for an Ethics Committee investigation into Franken's behavior. Franken initially released a limp original statement in response to Tweeden's accusation before offering the second, stronger comments in which he agreed the Ethics Committee should be involved in the matter.