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Democratic Sens. Manchin and Leahy say Franken shouldn't have resigned

Harassment on Capitol Hill

During an interview on CNN's "New Day" on Monday, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, said that Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, should not have announced his resignation after multiple women accused him of inappropriately touching them or attempting to kiss them.

"I definitely think he should not resign," Manchin said in the interview. "I think he should submit himself, which he has willingly done and offered to do, and go through this complete process of an extensive ethics review. And whatever the outcome is, I will live with that. I can live with that." 

Franken announced in early December that he will soon resign from his position in the Senate in light of sexual misconduct allegations. His announcement came amid a several calls from members of his own party to step down. 

"I've seen a person that his own caucus has turned on. It just made me sick. It really did. And I've said this," Manchin said. "They know how I feel. My caucus knows I'm very upset with this process, or a lack of a process. And the only thing I'll ask for is expedite, put extra investigators, do whatever you have to, to go through this investigation, through the ethics. And there's nothing worse than being found ethic violations from your own peer group.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, although he originally was among the voices calling on Franken to resign, said that Franken should have waited for an ethics investigation.  

"I have stood for due process throughout my years as a prosecutor and in chairing the Judiciary Committee. I regret not doing that this time. The Ethics Committee should have been allowed to investigate and make its recommendation," Leahy said in a statement.

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