Skip to main content

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."

Follow Bring Me The News on Flipboard for the latest stories

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.

Next Up

image

Charges: Driver had been drinking at party before striking teens, killing one

The victims were walking home from Walmart at the time of the crash, according to court documents.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 4.32.08 PM

State: Beltrami County Jail conditions present imminent risk of 'life-threatening harm'

The state is taking action to force changes at the Beltrami County Jail.

BrillyCarchiGoFundMe

Tributes to 15-year-old girl killed in Burnsville crash

The teenager was a student at Burnsville High School.

police lights

Charges: New Ulm couple abused young children with cruel punishments

Warning: The following contains upsetting details about child abuse.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 1.18.29 PM

Boy reels in 9.5lb walleye, wins pickup truck at Brainerd ice fishing tourney

Contestants come from all over the country compete in the annual event held in Brainerd.

ArrowheadRace

Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon in northern MN kicks off in -25F temperatures

The race is considered one of the 50 most challenging races in the world.

Related

Watch Sen. Al Franken's resignation speech

Franken delivered his remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Sarah Silverman says Al Franken was 'bullied' into resigning

The comedian is a long-time friend of Minnesota's former senator.

Al Franken announces his resignation as Minnesota senator

It follows allegations of inappropriate conduct from multiple women.

Video: Sen. Al Franken's goodbye speech to supporters

The senator gave his first public speech in Minnesota since announcing his plans to resign.

What Sen. Al Franken didn't say in his resignation speech

We've all seen what the senator said – but what did he leave out?

Multiple Democratic senators call on Al Franken to resign after latest allegation

A dozen of his Democratic colleagues have called on him to resign, after a 7th woman accused him of sexual harassment.

Tina Smith will take over for Sen. Al Franken by early January

The senator hasn't given a specific date since announcing his resignation.

What Sen. Al Franken said about the choice of Tina Smith as his successor

Smith will take over for Franken in the Senate once he steps down.