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Al Franken resignation letter says tenure was "a privilege and an honor"

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on March 20, 2017.

Reuters

Sen. Al Franken's resignation took effect Tuesday, weeks after he announced from the Senate floor that he would step down after the majority of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate urged him to do so. Multiple women claimed that Franken inappropriately touched them or attempted to kiss them.

"I write to resign my seat as a United States Senator for the State of Minnesota effective at 1 pm Eastern Standard Time on January 2, 2018," Franken wrote in his letter to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, which was obtained by a CBS Minnesota reporter.

"Serving the State of Minnesota in the U.S. Senate has been a privilege and an honor," Franken continued. "I am grateful to Minnesotans for giving me the chance to serve our state and our nation, and I am proud to have worked on their behalf."

Franken said he has denied some of the allegations against him, and recalls other instances differently. He believed the Senate Select Committee on Ethics was the appropriate venue for managing those accusations. But Franken did recognize that he would need to step aside.

One-time Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann said Tuesday she's considering running for Al Franken's former Senate seat.

The former Minnesota congresswoman told televangelist Jim Bakker during his TV show that she's praying about the decision.

His immediate replacement, Democratic Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, will be sworn in on Wednesday. She plans to run for the seat in a November special election.

CBS News' Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.