Some Senators Want Franken To Remain In The Senate

At least four lawmakers believe the Senate was too hasty in demanding Al Franken’s resignation, according to Politico.

The news site cited a growing sense that the Minnesota Democrat, whom eight women have accused of groping or forced kissing, should remain in office. “I think we acted prematurely, before we had all the facts,” an unidentified senator said. “In retrospect, I think we acted too fast.”

Franken, who announced his resignation earlier this month, has not yet left Capitol Hill. He promised to vacate his seat “in the coming weeks.” Tina Smith, Minnesota’s lieutenant governor, is poised to replace the senator. However, it’s beginning look like she might not get the promotion after all.

Three of the four senators who have come out in favor of inviting Franken back on board were among those who previously urged him to step down. West Virginia’s Joe Manchin has supported his Minnesota colleague since the controversy erupted. “What they did to Al was atrocious,” the senator declared. “Here’s a man (who) said, ‘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 called the forced resignation “the most hypocritical thing I’ve ever seen done to a human being.” He added: “(Other senators had) 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. (It) made me sick. 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.’”

Another Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, reportedly is one of the senators who has reversed his position on Franken. Some of the Democratic Party’s donors also are having second thoughts. “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,” former New York Supreme Court Justice Emily Jane Goodman said.

Politico reported that “people familiar with Franken’s plans” expect him to follow through on his pledge to resign next month. The senator has applauded his state’s governor for appointing Smith to succeed him, and has already started the transition process.

Many Democrats are angry that Franken and Michigan Congressman John Conyers had to step down due to allegations of sexual misconduct, while Donald Trump remains in the White House. At least 17 women have leveled abuse charges at the president. On the infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape released last year, Trump could be heard bragging about having exploited his celebrity status as a reality-show host to inappropriately kiss and fondle women. He said he could “do anything,” including “grab ‘em by the p***y.” Calls for the president’s resignation or impeachment are increasing.

Source: New York Post
Photo: Wikimedia Commons, YouTube

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