Al Franken Says Resigning was Mistake

Former Senator Al Franken had an interview with the New Yorker in which he said that he absolutely regrets resigning from the Senate in 2018 after he was accused of sexual harassment from eight women, The Hill reports.

“I can’t go anywhere without people reminding me of this, usually with some version of ‘You shouldn’t have resigned’,” said Franken.

Lean Tweeden was the first to accuse Franken of kissing her against her will. After that seven other women accused him of inappropriate kissing and touching. He later resigned after several Democrats pressured him to make the move; however, some of them regretted their decision later.

One of them was Senator Patrick Leahy who said that supporting Franken’s resignation without getting all the fact was one of his biggest mistakes he ever made in his long Senate career.

Former North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp also regretted the decision to pressure Franken to resign as she said:

“If there’s one decision I’ve made that I would take back, it’s the decision to call for his resignation. It was made in the heat of the moment, without concern for exactly what this was.”

Senator Angus King said that he also regretted the decision:

‘’There’s no excuse for sexual assault. But Al deserved more of a process. I don’t denigrate the allegations, but this was the political equivalent of capital punishment.’’

“This was a rush to judgment that didn’t allow any of us to fully explore what this was about. I took the judgment of my peers rather than independently examining the circumstances. In my heart, I’ve not felt right about it,’’ said Senator Jeff Merkley.

“I made a mistake. I started having second thoughts shortly after he stepped down. He had the right to be heard by an independent investigative body. I’ve heard from people around my state, and around the country, saying that they think he got railroaded. It doesn’t seem fair. I’m a lawyer. I really believe in due process,’’ said Senator Tom Udall as he also regretted his decision.

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