Local legislators are calling on U.S. Sen. Al Franken to resign in the wake of a series of allegations of sexual misconduct, including a new allegation Wednesday that he tried to kiss a former Democratic congressional aide in 2006.
Franken has not directly addressed the calls, but an aide said Wednesday that he would make an announcement Thursday.
Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire was one of the first local lawmakers to issue a statement Wednesday calling on Franken to step down.
"It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women, and he should resign," Hassan said. "We are experiencing a sea change in our culture that is long overdue, and we must continue working to empower all women and do everything we can to prevent sexual harassment, misconduct, and assault."
Democratic Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton said on "Meet the Press Daily" on MSNBC on Tuesday that he thought Franken should resign.
"There will be more of these cases, and we want to make sure that the women feel supported and come forward," Moulton said.
Democratic Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey tweeted Wednesday that he was joining his colleagues in calling for Franken to resign.
"We must support a culture in our workplaces and our entire nation where individuals can come forward, without judgment or reprisal, if they have been subject to inappropriate behavior," he tweeted.
Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont also joined the chorus calling for Franken to step down, saying "The right thing is for him to resign."
Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, also from Vermont, released a statement Wednesday afternoon that says Franken's "situation has become untenable."
"I am concerned that even a prompt Ethics Committee investigation and recommendations will not come soon enough," he said. "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."
Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, also said he thinks it's time for Franken to go.
"The increasing number of women coming forward suggests a pattern of repeated harassment and unacceptable behavior that is impossible to ignore," he said. "Senator Franken has denied some of these allegations and has the right to continue to seek a process through the Ethics Committee, but I believe the best course of action for him right now is to step down, as I expect he will do tomorrow."
An aide to Warren told the Boston Globe that Warren called Franken, saying he should resign.
In addition to local lawmakers, other Democratic senators calling on Franken to step aside or resign on Wednesday included Kristen Gillibrand, of New York, Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii, Claire McCaskill, of Missouri, Kamala Harris, of California, Patty Murray, of Washington, Tammy Baldwin, of Wisconsin, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly, of Indiana, Sherrod Brown, of Ohio, Maria Cantwell, of Washington, Tammy Duckworth, of Illinois, Dick Durbin, of Illinois, Tom Carper, of Delaware, and Debbie Stabenow, of Michigan.
Franken on Wednesday denied the new sexual misconduct accusation that came from a former Democratic congressional aide that he tried forcibly to kiss her after a taping of his radio show in 2006, saying it was "categorically not true."
The woman, who was not identified by name, said Franken pursued her after her boss had left and she was collecting her belongings. She said she ducked to avoid his lips, and that Franken told her: "It's my right as an entertainer."
The Minnesota Democrat is facing a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into previous claims by several other women that he groped or attempted to forcibly kiss them.
The allegations against Franken began in mid-November when Los Angeles radio anchor Leeann Tweeden accused him of forcibly kissing her during a USO tour in 2006.
Several other allegations have followed, including a woman who said that Franken put his hand on her buttocks during a picture pose at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010. Two women, who asked to remain anonymous, have told the Huffington Post that Franken squeezed their buttocks at political events during his first campaign for the Senate in 2008. A fourth woman, an Army veteran, alleged Franken cupped her breast during a photo op on a USO tour in 2003.
Franken has apologized for his behavior but he has disputed some of the allegations.