Huffington Post is reporting accusations number three and four against Senator Al Franken from Minnesota. The embattled Democrat has been in the hot seat ever since reports surfaced that he made unwanted advances on model Leeann Tweeden, including a damaging image of the former comedian groping her while she slept.
Tweeden’s article on KABC is startlingly detailed, accusing the former comedian of forcefully kissing her without permission. He then participated in a “funny” picture showing him groping the former Playboy model while she slept.
Should she be believed? According to Franken last month, yes.
The second accusation came out Monday when Lindsay Menz accused him of groping her while he was a Senator.
“My husband steps away from us to take the photo. I stand next to Sen. Franken and he pulls me into him and then he moves his hand to my butt,” Menz, 33, told ABC News’ chief national correspondent Tom Llamas. “I was shocked.”
She added, “I was surprised and kind of wondering, did that really just happen?”
The latest accusations move this into the realm of “serial” sexual misconduct, according to conservative news aggregator Drudge Report. The top headline of Matt Drudge’s site is “Getting Serial,” referencing the notion that this isn’t the case of a couple of isolated incidents spanning many years. This may be Franken’s modus operandi:
Though the two new reports are coming in from a single article, the women claim to not know each other. Their identities are being withheld, but HuffPo claims to have researched them thoroughly and discovered similarities in the accounts. Moreover, the women have been telling this story privately for years, well before the recent allegations came to light.
The incidents in question happened during Franken’s first campaign for Senate. One accusation is similar to the one made by Menz, stating “he grabbed my buttocks during a photo op.”
The other accuser said he cupped her buttocks and suggested the two of them visit the bathroom together at a Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis.
“My immediate reaction was disgust,” the second woman said. “But my secondary reaction was disappointment. I was excited to be there and to meet him. And so to have that happen really deflated me. It felt like: ‘Is this really the person who is going to be in a position of power to represent our community?’”
Franken, a rising star in the Democratic Party and one of the most covered members of the Senate, needs to step down. Just as calls are being made for Republican Roy Moore to step aside in his Senate run, so too should calls be made for this Senator to vacate his seat immediately.
The first woman, who spoke to HuffPost on condition of anonymity because she’s worried she’ll be harassed online for making the allegation, said Franken groped her when they posed for a photo after a June 25, 2007, event hosted by the Minnesota Women’s Political Caucus in Minneapolis.
“My story is eerily similar to Lindsay Menz’s story,” the first woman said. “He grabbed my buttocks during a photo op.”
The second woman told HuffPost that Franken cupped her butt with his hand at a 2008 Democratic fundraiser in Minneapolis, then suggested the two visit the bathroom together. She spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear that the allegation could affect her position at work.