Al Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning

Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenGOP Senate candidate says Trump, Republicans will surprise in Minnesota Peterson faces fight of his career in deep-red Minnesota district Getting tight — the psychology of cancel culture MORE told The New Yorker in an interview published Monday that he "absolutely" regrets resigning from the Senate in 2018 following sexual harassment allegations from eight women.

Franken explained that in retrospect he would have appeared before the Senate Ethics Committee before stepping down.

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

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Franken, a former “Saturday Night Live” writer, was pressured by a number of Democrats to step aside after Leeann Tweeden accused him of having forced an unwanted kiss on her during a 2006 U.S.O. tour. Seven other women accused Franken of inappropriate kissing or touching soon after.

However, some Democrats have expressed regret about his resignation.

Seven current or former senators who demanded Franken's resignation told The New Yorker that they had been wrong to do so.

Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyBipartisan representatives demand answers on expired surveillance programs Democrats shoot down talk of expanding Supreme Court Battle over timing complicates Democratic shutdown strategy MORE (D-Vt.) told the outlet that supporting resignation without first getting all the facts was “one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made” in 45 years in the Senate.

“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," former North Dakota Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampHarris faces pivotal moment with Supreme Court battle Centrists, progressives rally around Harris pick for VP 70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents MORE (D) said.

Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthMcConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled Biden courts veterans amid fallout from Trump military controversies John Fogerty: 'Confounding' that Trump campaign played 'Fortunate Son' at rally MORE (D-Ill.) told the magazine that the Senate Ethics Committee “should have been allowed to move forward,” adding that "that due process didn’t happen is not good for our democracy."

Independent Sen. Angus KingAngus KingHopes for DC, Puerto Rico statehood rise Government watchdog recommends creation of White House cyber director position Democrats step up hardball tactics as Supreme Court fight heats up MORE (Maine) said he’d “regretted it ever since” joining calls for resignation.

“There’s no excuse for sexual assault,” he added. “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," Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump, Biden renew push for Latino support Sunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response Oregon senator says Trump's blame on 'forest management' for wildfires is 'just a big and devastating lie' MORE (D-Ore.) told the outlet. "In my heart, I’ve not felt right about it.”

“I realized almost right away I’d made a mistake. I felt terrible. I should have stood up for due process to render what it’s supposed to — the truth," former Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonDemocrats sound alarm on possible election chaos Trump, facing trouble in Florida, goes all in NASA names DC headquarters after agency's first Black female engineer Mary W. Jackson MORE (D-Fla.) said.

“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," Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallLWCF modernization: Restoring the promise OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats tee up vote on climate-focused energy bill next week | EPA reappoints controversial leader to air quality advisory committee | Coronavirus creates delay in Pentagon research for alternative to 'forever chemicals' Senate Democrats demand White House fire controversial head of public lands agency MORE (D-N.M.) said. "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.”

Former Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Supreme Court vacancy — yet another congressional food fight Trump seeks to turn around campaign with Supreme Court fight On The Trail: Battle over Ginsburg replacement threatens to break Senate MORE (Nev.), who was retired at time, told The New Yorker, “It’s terrible what happened to him. It was unfair. It took the legs out from under him. He was a very fine senator.”