Calls For Sen. Franken To Reverse His Resignation Grow
At least four Democratic senators have called on Sen. Franken to rescind his resignation, including two who issued statements calling for the resignation two weeks ago and said they now feel remorse over what they feel was a rush to judgment, according to a Monday report from Politico.
“What they did to Al was atrocious, the Democrats,” West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told Politico in an interview to be published on Tuesday.
Manchin slammed those who asked for Franken’s resignation and who went on to watch his speech declaring that he would be doing.
“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,” he said. “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.’”
Though Manchin says he believes Franken should leave Congress if he’s found guilty of the accusations, he insists there a formal review should be conducted first.
“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,’” Manchin said.
Franken’s unusual timeline — in his departure announcement he said he’d go “in the coming weeks,” without setting a date — has fed the fleeting hopes that there’s still time to reverse course.
Manchin said he still holds out hope people will come around and call for Franken to go through the ethics process.
Another Democratic Senator, Patrick Leahy, who publicly called for Franken’s resignation, has privately told Franken that he regrets having done so, according to Politico.
“I think we acted prematurely, before we had all the facts,” said a third senator who has also called for the resignation, and has since expressed regret directly to Franken. “In retrospect, I think we acted too fast.” The senator asked not to be named because of the political sensitivity of the issue among Democrats.
According to the report, other senators have joined Manchin and Leahy and have expressed their beliefs that Franken should stay in office until an official investigation is conducted.