Democrats face hot-potato politics of sexual predation, too

Al Franken
FILE - In this June 21, 2017 file photo, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., listens at a committee hearing at the Capitol in Washington. A second woman has accused Minnesota Sen. Al Franken of inappropriate touching, saying Monday, Nov. 20, 2017 that he put his hand on her bottom as they posed for a picture at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010, after he had begun his career in the Senate. Menz's allegation comes days after a Los Angeles broadcaster, Leeann Tweeden, accused Franken of forcibly kissing her during a 2006 USO tour. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats have been quick to support the women who have publicly accused powerful men of preying on them sexually.

But the party is in something of a predicament because it is facing allegations about two of its own in Congress: Michigan Rep. John Conyers and Minnesota Sen. Al Franken.

And, in another era, the Democrats circled the wagons around President Bill Clinton, dismissing or belittling women who said Clinton harassed them and worse.

Leading Democrats have so far called for ethics investigations of Franken and Conyers. BuzzFeed published affidavits from former employees of Conyers who said they saw him inappropriately touching women who work for him and asking them for sexual favors. Conyers’ office now confirms a settlement with one woman while denying he did anything wrong.

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