Vermont’s Patrick Leahy says he regrets calling for Al Franken’s resignation

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., center, walks to his car as he leaves the Capitol after speaking on the Senate floor, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Franken said he will resign from the Senate in coming weeks following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations and a collapse of support from his Democratic colleagues, a swift political fall for a once-rising Democratic star. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Sen. Al Franken walks to his car Dec. 7 as he leaves the Capitol after speaking on the Senate floor. –Jacquelyn Martin / AP, File

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Sen. Patrick Leahy says he regrets calling for Sen. Al Franken to resign instead of waiting for an ethics investigation.

The Burlington Free Press reports the Vermont Democrat released a statement Monday, saying he has “stood for due process” throughout his career, and that he regrets “not doing that this time.” He says the Ethics Committee “should have been allowed to investigate and make its recommendation.”

Franken announced his resignation from the Senate earlier this month following allegations of sexual misconduct. At the time, Leahy and dozens of other senators had urged the Minnesota Democrat to step down.

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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed fellow Democrat Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to take Franken’s seat when he resigns in January.

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Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com

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