How Would a Senate Ethics Committee Investigation of Franken Work?

November 16, 2017 08:33 PM

Leading Republicans, Democrats and even Sen. Al Franken himself have all now called for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against Franken made by a radio show anchor in Los Angeles Thursday.

In a statement, Franken admitted his actions were inexcusable.

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RELATED: Franken Responds to Allegations: 'I'm Sorry'

Now, if they investigate, the ethics committee would decide how to potentially sanction Franken.

There are six members of the committee, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

RELATED: Political Leaders React to Allegations Against Franken

The committee looks into allegations and complaints against all senators and staffers accused of violating ethics rules. If members decide there is evidence of a violation, they have a range of options.

Those extend from sanctioning that person by letter to recommending discipline by or expulsion from the Senate.

DIGITAL EXTRA: Political Analyst Breaks Down Franken Allegations

The committee doesn't have a time limit when it comes to investigations, and it requires all senators and staffers to take ethics training 60 days from when they begin their service in the chamber.

RELATED: Twin Cities Sexual Assault Victim Doesn't Want Franken's Name on Legislation

The committee released its annual report last year.

It showed it had not recommended disciplinary action since 2015. In all, it had fielded 600 allegations of wrongdoing since 2007. Ninety percent, though, were dismissed due to lack of evidence. 

DIGITAL EXTRA: U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison Reacts to Allegations Against Sen. Al Franken


         

 

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Farrah Fazal

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