Politics

‘No One Investigated’: Al Franken Criticizes Handling Of Sexual Misconduct Allegations

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Reporter
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Former Democratic Minnesota Sen. Al Franken complained that the Ethics Committee investigation that resulted in his resignation from the upper chamber was “a pretty awful experience.”

“No one investigated this. No one at The Washington Post investigated it, no one at The New York Times investigated. No one did any investigation of this at all,” Franken told Washington Post Live’s Jonathan Capehart in a Wednesday interview, during which he teased a return to elected office. “I had 36 of my colleagues demand that I leave, and I didn’t get due process.”

The former Saturday Night Live star added that several colleagues who called for him to resign, most notably number two Senate Democrat Dick Durbin, later apologized.

At least nine women have accused Franken of sexual harassment or assault, including an Army veteran who Franken met on a USO tour while he worked as a comedian, and a Democratic campaign staffer. Although Franken has denied the allegations, he resigned from Congress at the height of the ‘Me Too’ movement and amid a flurry of accusations directed at elected officials and candidates. (RELATED: GOP Senator ‘Shocked’ By ‘Number Of Pigs’ In Hollywood And Washington)

Following his early 2018 resignation from the Senate, Franken returned to comedy, and is touring the country until June. He has repeatedly suggested that he would like to return to political life, telling MassLive in September 2021 that he was “keeping [his] options open.” Franken, who now lives in Manhattan, declined a primary challenge to New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who played a leading role in forcing him to resign.

“I miss the Senate but I’m not going to run against Kirsten Gillibrand,” he told Politico in October.

Franken continued to stoke electoral speculation on Wednesday, telling Capehart that “it would be tempting to try to do that again.”

“I certainly loved my time in the Senate. I loved the job. I got a lot done.”