There are at least four senators who are urging Al Franken to reconsider his resignation. This includes two who called for his resignation just two weeks ago.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) considers the multitude of Democrats calling for Franken’s resignation “the most hypocritical thing he has ever seen done to a human being.”
Manchin stated, “What they did to Al was atrocious, the Democrats.”
He continued, “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.”
Manchin stated that he wants Franken to reverse his resignation. He also wants the senators who called for him to resign to reconsider the decision and allow him to stay until the ethics committee investigation is complete.
He added, “I hope they have enough guts … and enough conscience and enough heart to say, ‘Al, we made a mistake asking prematurely for you to leave.’”
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) is one of the senators who called for Franken’s resignation. However, he regrets doing so. According to two sources, Leahy had talked to Franken privately and has told him that he regrets calling for the resignation.
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There is a third senator, who asked to remain anonymous, who has called for his resignation but stated they regret what they did.
The senator stated, “I think we acted prematurely, before we had all the facts.” The senator continued, “In retrospect, I think we acted too fast.”
The two senators who called for Franken’s resignation, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), revealed they felt rushed to comment on the issue. They stated they made a comment without the relevant care and thought.
Gillibrand was the senator who came out against Franken the day POLITICO published Leann Tweeden’s allegations against Franken.
Gillibrand has stated before that she wanted to send a clear message of zero tolerance for sexual harassment and assault. She also was worried that the ethics procedure was being used as a shield.
There are others from outside the Senate such as Democratic donors and Arne Carlson, the former Republican governor of Minnesota, who want Franken to reconsider.
Franken’s office has yet to comment.
Franken is one of the three lawmakers who stepped down because of their sexual misconduct allegations. According to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (R), Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D) would replace Franken. Smith has announced she would run for reelection in 2018.
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