Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he would like his former colleague Al Franken to run for public office again, fewer than two years after Franken resigned from the Senate over allegations of sexual misconduct.
“I wish he would,” Reid said of Franken in an interview with The Daily Beast. “But I don’t think he will. He just feels hurt. And he was a good senator.”
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Reid expressed solidarity with the Minnesota Democrat who left office after several women came forward accusing the lawmaker of inappropriate touching, saying: “He got a bad deal.”
Several Democratic lawmakers have shared Reid’s sentiment in recent months, including Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., who claimed Franken was “railroaded” in a recent article published by the New Yorker.
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“I made a mistake,” Udall said. “I started having second thoughts shortly after he stepped down. He had the right to be heard by an independent investigative body. I’ve heard from people around my state, and around the country, saying that they think he got railroaded. It doesn’t seem fair. I’m a lawyer. I really believe in due process.”
One person who doesn’t regret spearheading Franken’s ouster is 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
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“I could have told those seven senators and any of the senators — the 35 senators who came out against him — that there is no prize for someone who tries to hold accountable a powerful man who is good at his day job,” Gillibrand said last month. “But we should have the courage to do it anyway. So no, I do not have any regrets.”