A small group of Senate Democrats want Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) to walk back his resignation, Politico reported Monday. Franken announced from the Senate floor on Dec. 7 that he would leave Congress "in the coming weeks" after more than three dozen of his Democratic colleagues called for his resignation following allegations of sexual harassment.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was one of Franken's biggest defenders, telling Politico that the Democrats' cornering of Franken was "atrocious." Even if Franken doesn't reverse his decision, Manchin said, "I hope [Senate Democrats] have enough guts ... and enough conscience and enough heart to say, 'Al, we made a mistake asking prematurely for you to leave.'"
Franken was accused of sexual harassment by eight women and said that he would "fully gladly cooperate" with an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee into his behavior, but instead announced he would resign after his party colleagues spoke out against him. Manchin was absent from the Democratic chorus calling for Franken's resignation, but apparently some of the senators who did speak out are also questioning their decision; Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) apparently told Franken "privately" that he "regrets" calling for the senator to step down, Politico reports.
A third senator, who declined to be named because of "political sensitivity," lamented: "I think we acted prematurely, before we had all the facts. In retrospect, I think we acted too fast." Read more at Politico. Kelly O'Meara Morales