Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told CNN that Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) shouldn’t resign because he is being railroaded and denied the due process of a Senate ethics investigation.
Manchin made it clear that his issue with Franken’s resignation is the lack of a process, “I think that Al Franken should go through the process of what he’s asked for, due process. I believe that we should have a process to where women can come out and be protected, when they have been violated and they should be able to state that and be protected in doing it. And I believe a person that’s been accused ought to have a process that we can investigate thoroughly.”
Sen. Manchin said how things went down with Franken made him sick, “When I saw human beings lie — Al Franken and I don’t agree on things politically. I consider Al a friend. He says, here, take me through, I have a lot of faults in life, I don’t think it’s one of these, but do what you want with me. He asked for that and he wouldn’t even — my own fellow Democrats wouldn’t even give him that courtesy. Just the political — the political rancor is just unbelievable to me how you can destroy a human’s life and his family and everything that they stand for without giving him a chance. That’s all I said. And I just think that everyone’s caught up. Who’s going to be — who’s going to outdo the other. It’s just ridiculous.”
Manchin later that Franken shouldn’t resign, but should stay in office until the ethics investigation is completed, “I definitely think he should not resign. I think he should submit himself, which he has willingly done and offered to do and go through this complete process of an extensive ethics review. And whatever the outcome is, I can live with that.”
Joe Manchin’s correct. The way these allegations were handled by both Franken and his party has left lingering questions. If Franken didn’t do these things, he needed to be more forceful in his denials immediately. If Franken wanted to stay in office through the ethics investigation, he shouldn’t have caved to the pressure. Did Democrats conduct an internal investigation of these allegations before they called for Franken to resign? If they didn’t, why not?
It isn’t Franken’s innocent or guilt as much as it is about the process when an allegation is raised. A sound process would answer the questions and make a decision on Al Franken easy. Democrats need to come up with a process because there is a strong probability that there are more than the three Democrats who have been accused in the House and Senate who have engaged in this behavior.
Al Franken should have due process, and Democrats need to come up with a system for dealing with any future allegations.