A handful of Democratic senators are now calling on Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., to reconsider resigning.
At least four Democrats are expressing regret over calling for Franken to resign before a Senate Ethics Committee investigation took place into the allegations of sexual harassment made against him.
“What they did to Al was atrocious, the Democrats,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., told Politico. “The most hypocritical thing I’ve ever seen done to a human being — and then have enough guts to sit on the floor, watch him give his speech and go over and hug him? That’s hypocrisy at the highest level I’ve ever seen in my life. Made me sick.”
A CNN reporter said that Manchin also said that Democrats’ call for Franken’s resignation was “most certainly” premature — and that anybody accused should have a thorough investigation.
Sen. Manchin says on @NewDay it was "most certainly" premature for Dems to call on Al Franken to resign: "I believe a person who's accused ought to have a process and be investigated thoroughly."
— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) December 18, 2017
Politico further reported that Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., had a private conversation with Franken in which Leahy said he regrets calling for his colleague from Minnesota to resign.
“I think we acted prematurely, before we had all the facts,” a third, unnamed senator said. “In retrospect, I think we acted too fast.”
Politico reports that two of the senators who issued statements calling for Franken to step down feel that they signed off on these statements “without appropriate care and thought.”
On Dec. 7, Franken announced his resignation from the Senate after several allegations of sexual harassment were made against him, beginning with Leeann Tweeden’s photographic evidence of Franken groping her. “In the coming weeks, I will be resigning as a member of the United States Senate,” he announced, criticizing President Trump on the way out.
“I, of all people, am aware that there is some irony in the fact that I am leaving while a man who has bragged on tape about his history of sexual assault sits in the Oval Office,” he said.
Minnesota Democratic Governor Mark Dayton appointed Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, D-Minn., to replace Franken when (if?) he eventually leaves the Senate.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include Sen. Manchin’s most recent comments and to correct a typographical error in the name of the governor of Minnesota from “Mary Dayton” to “Mark Dayton.” Conservative Review regrets the error.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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