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Leahy Regrets Calling For Franken Resignation Before Ethics Committee Investigation

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he regrets calling for the resignation of senator Al Franken before the Senate Ethics committee had a change to fully investigate the matter
Toby Talbot
/
AP/File
Sen. Patrick Leahy says he regrets calling for the resignation of Sen. Al Franken before the Senate Ethics committee had a change to fully investigate the matter

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he has had a change of heart concerning the political future of Minnesota Sen. Al Franken and he now regrets calling for Franken's resignation.

Initially, Franken asked the Senate Ethics committee to investigate several allegations of sexual harassment brought against him. But then a majority of Democratic senators, including Leahy and Sen. Bernie Sanders called on Franken to resign.

In a statement issued on Dec. 6, Leahy said, "I am concerned that even a prompt Ethics Committee investigation and recommendations will not come soon enough — he has to step aside."

But over the weekend, several Democratic senators urged Franken not to resign until the Ethics Committee completed its investigation.

In a statement released late Monday, Leahy said "I have stood for due process throughout my years as a prosecutor — I regret not doing that this time. The Ethics committee should have been allowed to investigate and make its recommendation."

Franken says he plans to step down next month but several Democratic senators are urging him to reconsider that decision pending the review by the Ethics Committee.

Leahy is not among them.

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