Al Franken marks final day in Senate in wake of groping allegations

The sign of U.S. Sen. Al Franken's office (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken marked his final day in the US Senate on Tuesday after he announced he would step down in the wake of groping allegations.

Franken submitted his letter of resignation, effective at 1 p.m. ET, to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton. Franken wrote that serving in the Senate “has been a privilege and an honor.”

“I am grateful to Minnesotans for giving me a chance to serve our state and our nation, and I am proud to have worked on their behalf,” the letter states.

Sen. Al Franken announces his resignation from the Senate.

Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith will replace him on Wednesday.

“When I leave the Senate in a few weeks,” Franken said during his Senate floor speech announcing his exit, “I will continue trying to be an educated citizen and an advocate and an activist.”

Multiple women have accused Franken of touching them inappropriately. He apologized for some of the accusations but in his resignation speech said his response to those women’s accounts “gave some people the false impression that I was admitting to doing things that in fact I haven’t done.”

“Some of the allegations against me are simply not true,” he said on the Senate floor December 7. “Others I remember very differently.”

A special election will be held in Minnesota to permanently fill the seat timed to next year’s midterm elections in November. Smith has said she’ll run for that position.