4 senators want Al Franken to reverse resignation, Politico reports

The Minnesota senator plans to step down next month.
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The Essentials

1. Politico is reporting that four senators want Al Franken to rescind his resignation.

2. Among them is Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) who said: "What they did to Al was atrocious, the Democrats," and added he wants the Ethics Committee process to run its course.

3. Three others who want him to stay on as Minnesota's senator were among those who called for him to step down two weeks ago, but have since changed their mind.

The Big Picture

Some Democratic senators are having regrets about the manner of Franken's exit, feeling the reaction to the sexual misconduct allegations against him was too fast and too severe.

The allegation from a 7th woman, who said she was "forcibly kissed" by Franken – which he denied happening – prompted a flurry of Democratic senators to call for his resignation on Dec. 6.

The way that day unfolded suggested coordination between certain Democratic senators, but now some who jumped on the bandwagon feel they perhaps should have let the Ethics Committee investigation into Franken's behavior run its course.

"I think we acted prematurely, before we had all the facts,” one of the anonymous senators told Politico. "In retrospect, I think we acted too fast."

But New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who was among those who led the calls for Franken's resignation, is adamant that the party should have zero tolerance for sexual misconduct allegations.

A decision by Franken to rescind his resignation would throw a wrench into plans for Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith.

Gov. Mark Dayton announced she would be Franken's Senate replacement, and intends to run in the November special election to finish out Franken's term.

Franken plans on handing over the reins in early January, but no official date has been set.

This still gives him a window to change his mind, though sources close to him told Politico he still intends to formally resign. He has also been complimentary about the choice of of Smith taking his place.

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