Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) was the first in Congress to go on record to say Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) should not resign until the ethics investigation is complete into his alleged sexual misconduct. He further said the way fellow Democrats treated him was “atrocious.” A few other senators, who remained anonymous, also said they regretted calling for his resignation.
“I hope they have enough guts … and enough conscience and enough heart to say, ‘Al, we made a mistake asking prematurely for you to leave,'” Manchin added.
“I think we acted prematurely, before we had all the facts,” another anonymous senator said. “In retrospect, I think we acted too fast.”
Now, a senator has come forward to say that he regrets taking part in helping oust Franken.
In a statement to the Burlington Free Press, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said he was too hasty in joining his colleagues in calling for Franken to resign.
“I have stood for due process throughout my years as a prosecutor and in chairing the Judiciary Committee,” the statement read. “I regret not doing that this time. The Ethics Committee should have been allowed to investigate and make its recommendation.”
— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) January 10, 2017
Politico initially reported Leahy told Franken he should not resign in private but declined to comment for its story.