Al Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning

Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenBill Press: Don't forget about Amy Key moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Al Franken mocks McConnell: 'Like listening to Jeffrey Dahmer complain about the decline of dinner party etiquette' 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 LeahySenate opens Trump impeachment trial Overnight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall Democrats vow to force third vote on Trump's border wall emergency declaration 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 HeitkampSusan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same MORE (D) said.

Sen. Tammy DuckworthLadda (Tammy) Tammy DuckworthDemocrats request briefing on intel behind Trump's embassy threat claim Duckworth slams Collins's comments: 'I left parts of my body in Iraq fighting terrorists' The biggest political upsets of the decade 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 KingCongress struggles on rules for cyber warfare with Iran Democrats brace for round two of impeachment witness fight The Hill's Morning Report - Deescalation: US-Iran conflict eases 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 MerkleyEnvironmentalists, Oregon senators oppose DOT increasing transport of natural gas by rail Senate Democrat says he is concerned intelligence community is 'bending' Soleimani presentations Democrats conflicted over how to limit Trump's war powers 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 NelsonThe most expensive congressional races of the last decade Lobbying world Bottom Line 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 UdallOvernight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall Democrats vow to force third vote on Trump's border wall emergency declaration Overnight Defense: War powers fight runs into impeachment | Kaine has 51 votes for Iran resolution | Trump plans to divert .2B from Pentagon to border wall 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 Trumpification of the federal courts Trump to rally evangelicals after critical Christianity Today editorial Left presses 2020 Democrats to retake the courts from Trump 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.”