Al Franken continues working while departure date unclear

Even though he announced he would resign ...

Posted: Dec 15, 2017 6:27 AM
Updated: Dec 15, 2017 6:27 AM

Even though he announced he would resign within "the coming weeks" amid accusations he groped women, Sen. Al Franken is still reporting for duty to Capitol Hill with no departure date set.

Gov. Mark Dayton, a Minnesota Democrat, said Wednesday that Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith was appointed to a one-year term in the Senate, which will conclude in January 2019. Smith, thought to be a leading contender to replace Franken, accepted the appointment.

Sen. Al Franken said he would resign in a "couple of weeks"

Through Senate rules, his replacement could start as soon as Friday

But since his resignation last Thursday, the Minnesota senator has cast five Senate votes, attended at least one committee hearing as of Thursday and gave a floor speech on net neutrality Wednesday afternoon.

And while his replacement has been set, the senator's office has said he does not yet have a departure date -- and is still finalizing his plans.

His office told CNN his resignation date was still being "finalized" on Wednesday. And when pressed by CNN four times about his resignation on Thursday, Franken declined to answer questions on why he hadn't set his date.

An aide to Franken said that the senator is tying up loose ends and working on a smooth and speedy transition, and while no date is certain for his official resignation, they expect his replacement to be in place in early January.

He acknowledged he's unlikely to run for president in 2020. And he also said he is still attending Democratic lunches and doing so has not been awkward.

A former senior Senate Democratic leadership aide told CNN Thursday Franken staying put is "unusual" and "odd" -- likely driven by Franken himself.

"I am chalking this up to him being stubborn enough to want to go out under his own set of rules," the aide said.

A Democratic leadership aide told CNN Franken is just winding down his office and helping his staff arrange for new jobs.

Franken announced last week he'd decided to resign from office over allegations that he touched women inappropriately. In his speech, he did not apologize and called out President Donald Trump, who was repeatedly accused of sexual assault during his presidential campaign, and then-Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who faced accusations that he pursued relationships with teenagers and an accusation that he committed sexual assault while he was in his 30s.

In a statement Wednesday afternoon, Franken called Smith an excellent choice for the seat, saying that he looks forward to working with her on ensuring "a speedy and seamless transition."

"She is a dedicated public servant who's worked tirelessly on behalf of Minnesotans, and Governor Dayton couldn't have made a better choice for this job," Franken said. "Her record of accomplishment as lieutenant governor demonstrates that she'll be an effective senator who knows how to work across party lines to get things done for Minnesota."

According to Senate rules, Smith could start voting almost immediately after Franken resigns if she were to come to Washington, present her credentials to the secretary of the Senate and take the oath of office. The vice president usually does the swearing-in of a senator, but a surrogate could be designated should Mike Pence not be available. She's then able to start voting right away.

After his replacement was named Wednesday, Franken told CNN's Manu Raju he doesn't know when he'd resign.

"We don't know what the timing is yet. We don't have an exact (date)," he said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 296745

Reported Deaths: 6783
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19731230
Hinds18881393
Harrison16780282
Rankin12787265
Jackson12643229
Lee9703161
Madison9484203
Jones8005147
Forrest7250138
Lauderdale6847227
Lowndes6033140
Lamar590980
Lafayette5747113
Washington5229130
Bolivar4620124
Oktibbeha442194
Panola432396
Pearl River4193132
Warren4138115
Pontotoc410771
Marshall404492
Monroe3993128
Union396474
Neshoba3822170
Lincoln3564104
Hancock350277
Leflore3389119
Sunflower319286
Tate303374
Pike301796
Scott295271
Alcorn292463
Yazoo290865
Itawamba290275
Coahoma282069
Tippah279565
Copiah279259
Simpson276680
Prentiss271158
Wayne254541
Leake253172
Marion252778
Covington249780
Grenada248578
Adams235078
George232445
Newton231252
Winston221979
Jasper213845
Tishomingo212965
Attala206870
Chickasaw201453
Holmes182770
Clay179251
Stone173029
Tallahatchie171439
Clarke169672
Calhoun158528
Smith153033
Yalobusha145536
Greene127933
Walthall124540
Noxubee123131
Montgomery122939
Perry122235
Lawrence120621
Carroll119025
Amite112235
Webster111132
Jefferson Davis102731
Tunica99523
Claiborne99129
Benton93924
Humphreys93027
Kemper90423
Quitman77414
Franklin76219
Choctaw69817
Jefferson62827
Wilkinson62427
Sharkey49117
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 498076

Reported Deaths: 10094
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson716711387
Mobile36294737
Madison32616468
Tuscaloosa24340421
Montgomery22739519
Shelby22174218
Baldwin19873289
Lee15039157
Calhoun13832293
Morgan13753254
Etowah13390325
Marshall11448211
Houston10124264
Elmore9483190
Limestone9420138
St. Clair9022227
Cullman8984182
Lauderdale8612214
DeKalb8489175
Talladega7606165
Walker6585259
Jackson6545104
Autauga632492
Blount6236127
Colbert6001121
Coffee5264103
Dale4671107
Russell406933
Franklin399878
Covington3993106
Chilton3898103
Escambia379173
Tallapoosa3622143
Clarke344053
Chambers3431111
Dallas3422142
Pike293373
Marion288695
Lawrence284985
Winston258368
Bibb246160
Geneva240370
Marengo238857
Pickens225457
Barbour213651
Hale212269
Fayette202057
Butler201466
Henry183541
Cherokee178039
Monroe166739
Randolph164840
Washington156836
Macon147745
Crenshaw146255
Clay145954
Cleburne139841
Lamar133733
Lowndes132751
Wilcox122925
Bullock117336
Conecuh107024
Perry106127
Sumter99732
Coosa90224
Greene88532
Choctaw55323
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