Via NY Post: Some Democratic senators now regret pushing accused groper Sen. Al Franken to resign, and are urging him to stay on, according to a new report.
“I think we acted prematurely, before we had all the facts,” one anonymous senator told Politico. “In retrospect, I think we acted too fast.”
Franken reluctantly bowed to his colleagues’ demands to step down earlier this month after he was accused of sexual assault by eight women, saying he’d leave the Senate “in the coming weeks.” Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith has been tapped as his replacement.
But at least four senators — including three who initially joined the chorus demanding the handsy lawmaker step down — now want the Minnesota pol to reconsider his planned January exit, the site reports.
Leading the call is West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — who never called on Franken to resign in the first place, and who believes he should have been allowed to go through a Senate Ethics Committee probe.
“Here’s a man, that all he said [was], ‘Take me through the Ethics Committee. I will live by whatever decision and I will walk away thinking about this opportunity I’ve had while I was here. But you find out if I’m a predator,’” Manchin told Politico.
Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, who publicly demanded Franken resign at the time, is also said to be among those having regrets, Politico reports.
Some Democratic donors are on board, too.
“I and many other people — and specifically feminists — feel that it’s not too late, that he should not resign, and that the rush to sweep him out was ill-conceived, and we think that he has been supportive of women and women’s issues,” said retired New York state Supreme Court judge Emily Jane Goodman.
But “people familiar with Franken’s plans” tell Politico he isn’t budging, and will officially resign in January.