Democratic Sen. Al Franken will officially be leaving the U.S. Senate on Jan. 2, a spokesman for the Minnesota Democrat told Fox News on Wednesday.
The date comes weeks after Franken announced his resignation in a Dec. 7 speech on the Senate floor but failed to specify when he would vacate the seat. Franken’s previous omission of the date he would resign led to speculation he would retract his resignation.
“When I leave the Senate in a few weeks, I will continue trying to be an educated citizen and an advocate and an activist, but over the last eight and a half years, as I have had the privilege of serving the people of Minnesota, I have also gained a new perspective on the issues we face and the way we here in Washington make decisions,” Franken said during a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday but did not mention the official date.
Franken also said that before he leaves he will be giving speeches about why he wanted to serve in the U.S. Senate.
“Before I go, I want to spend some time sharing what I have learned in a series of speeches focusing on the challenges I came to Washington to address,” said Franken.
Frankens’ announcement led to the appointment of Tina Smith to the seat. Smith is the current Minnesota lieutenant governor and former vice president of Planned Parenthood. She was appointed to Franken’s seat by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton in a speech on Dec. 13 after more than two dozen of Franken’s Democratic colleagues in the Senate called for him to resign.
Here’s his original announcement from a couple of weeks ago:
Here’s his final speech from earlier today: