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 FrankenTina Smith and Jason Lewis tied in Minnesota Ted Cruz mocks Al Franken over 'I Hate Ted Cruz Pint Glass' GOP Senate candidate says Trump, Republicans will surprise in Minnesota 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 GillibrandOcasio-Cortez says she doesn't plan on 'staying in the House forever' Internal Democratic poll: Desiree Tims gains on Mike Turner in Ohio House race Hillicon Valley: Facebook, Twitter's handling of New York Post article raises election night concerns | FCC to move forward with considering order targeting tech's liability shield | YouTube expands polices to tackle QAnon MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren has expressed interest in being Biden's Treasury secretary: report The Democrats' 50 state strategy never reached rural America What a Biden administration should look like 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 SmithBiden to campaign in Minnesota as GOP ups pressure in 'sleeper' state The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Election night could be a bit messy The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states 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 TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE of harassment. She said the money was not used and was refunded.