Dem donor: Withdrawing support for senators who urged Franken to quit an ‘option’

Dem donor: Withdrawing support for senators who urged Franken to quit an ‘option’
© Greg Nash

A prominent Democratic donor is weighing her future support of the party after numerous Democratic senators urged Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe job no GOP senator wants: 'I'd rather have a root canal' Take Trump literally and seriously in Minnesota Ninth woman accuses Al Franken of inappropriate contact MORE (D-Minn.) to resign in the face of sexual misconduct allegations.

Susie Tompkins Buell told The New York Times on Sunday she believes the dozens of senators who called for Franken to step down last month “moved too fast," and withdrawing support from those who led the push is "an option."

“I am a big believer in helping more women into the political system but this has given me an opportunity to rethink of how I can best help my party,” Buell wrote in a text to the newspaper.


Buell has donated millions to liberal causes and candidates, and has backed female candidates such as Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWhite House, Congress near deal to give 12 weeks paid parental leave to all federal workers Bloomberg on 2020 rivals blasting him for using his own money: 'They had a chance to go out and make a lot of money' Harris posts video asking baby if she'll run for president one day MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden: 'I'd add' Warren to my list of potential VP picks Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades How can top Democrats run the economy with no business skill? MORE (D-Mass.), the newspaper reported. Gillibrand was among the first to call for Franken’s resignation.

“As for Gillibrand, unfortunately, I believe she miscalculated and has shot herself in the foot,” Buell said.

Multiple women accused Franken late last year of kissing or groping them without consent during photo-ops and at other events, including some before he was elected senator in 2008.

Most lawmakers, including Franken, initially called for an ethics investigation. However, as the allegations mounted, Franken’s colleagues began calling for him to resign.

He announced in a floor speech in December that he would step down. He officially resigned last week, and former Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithDemocrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump On The Money: Fed faces crossroads as it weighs third rate cut | Dem presses Mnuchin on 'alleged rampant corruption' | Boeing chief faces anger at hearing | Trouble for House deal on Ex-Im Bank Democrats renew push for contractor back pay from government shutdown MORE (D) was sworn in as his replacement. 

Buell, who also spoke to BuzzFeed News, told The New York Times that she did not know Franken personally, but was impressed by his work as a senator. 

Buell founded the clothing brand Esprit, and also offered money to help a woman who accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE of harassment. She said the money was not used and was refunded.