Speaking to reporters Monday afternoon, embattled Democrat Senator Al Franken said he is going to "try" to learn from his mistakes, but will not resign from his position after admitting to "maybe" inappropriately touching a number of women.
"I've let a lot of people down. The people of Minnesota, my colleagues, my staff," Franken said. "And everyone who has counted on me to be a champion for women. To all of you, I want to say I'm sorry."
"I'm going to start my job. I'm going to go back to work," he continued. "This has been a shock and it's been extremely humbling. I am embarrassed. I feel ashamed."
Franken was asked by a reporter what would constitute a resignation in the realm of sexual misconduct, which he refused to answer.
"I've been trying to take responsibility by apologizing," he said. "I'm going to try and learn from my mistakes."
Franken has been referred to the Senate Ethics Committee for investigation. The Committee is often described as a "black hole" where investigations go to die.
In the face of several highly charged allegations of sexual harassment, the Senate is turning to its ethics committee for political cover. It is an open secret in Washington that this committee is an “ethics committee” in name only. In the face of numerous allegations of sexual harassment against Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and potential Sen. Roy Moore (R-Ala.), the Senate and its ethics committee face a moment of truth. Should the committee open an investigation into allegations against Franken and potentially Moore, as has been proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Franken himself, it will have radically reenvisioned the scope of its oversight.