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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand defends role in Al Franken's resignation

She was the first Democratic senator to call on Franken to resign.

Announcing her campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential elections this week was Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

The New York senator was the first of Al Franken's Democratic colleagues in the senate to call for his resignation after multiple allegations of inappropriate touching were made towards the end of 2017.

Franken ultimately resigned, though there were some in the Democratic Party who felt he had been pushed out, and should at least have been allowed to stay until the end of a Senate ethics investigation.

But speaking before an audience in Sioux City, Iowa, Gillibrand has no regrets about calling for the Minnesota senator's resignation.

"I know it made a lot of Democrats sad. Some, angry," she said. "But the truth is, Al Franken had eight credible allegations against him for harassment or groping.

"They were corroborated in real time, and they were deemed credible by those who investigated them. And for me, the eighth allegation, when it came out – and it was known he was a congressional staffer, before he was a senator – I couldn't remain silent anymore."

"Al Franken was entitled to whatever process he wanted, if he wanted to say and wait six months for his ethics hearing. His decision was to resign. My decision was not to remain silent.

"You have to stand up for what's right, especially when it's hard," she continued. "And if you create a pass because you love someone, or you like someone, or admire someone, or they're part of your team, it's not OK, it's just not, and I feel strongly about it and it's painful. It's painful for me. It's painful for a lot of us."

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Ahead of his resignation, Franken said that some of the allegations made against him "are simply not true, others I remember very differently."

"I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator, nothing, has brought dishonor on this institution," he added.

Politico reported in November that Gillibrand's role in Franken's resignation could harm her chances of winning the Democratic nomination, particularly when it comes to raising money from prominent donors.

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