After Resigning amid Scandal, Al Franken Is 'Keeping My Options Open' for Another Run
When he announced his resignation on the Senate floor three years ago, Franken said, "Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember very differently"
If things go his way, former Sen. Al Franken might return to Capitol Hill.
"I'm keeping my options open," Franken said in a new interview with The Republican when asked about running for office again.
A Democrat who was elected to the Senate representing Minnesota in 2008, Franken served from 2009 until he stepped down in 2018 following sexual misconduct allegations by multiple women.
"It was a very weird, tough situation at that moment," Franken said this week of his resignation, The Hill reports. "I love the Senate. I love the work that I did."
When he announced his resignation on the Senate floor three years ago, Franken said, "Some of the allegations against me are simply not true. Others I remember very differently."
Seven women accused Franken of inappropriate behavior. One of them, Leeann Tweeden, accused him of kissing and groping her without her consent. Tweeden, a sports broadcaster, wrote about traveling with Franken on a USO Tour in December of 2006 when the alleged incidents occurred and included a photo that appeared to show Franken touching her breasts as she slept on a plane.
After coming forward with her story in 2017, Tweeden told Good Morning America she was never interested in taking down the senator. "I didn't do this to have him step down. I think Al Franken does a lot of good things in the Senate," Tweeden said on GMA when asked if he should resign. "That's for the people of Minnesota to decide. I'm not calling for him to step down. That was never my intention."
In July of 2019, Franken told The New Yorker he "absolutely" regretted his decision to resign. He also said he wished he had appeared before a Senate ethics committee as he requested to present his side of the story, the magazine reported.
In the new interview with The Republican, Franken said, "I wanted due process" but, he argued, the Democratic majority "wouldn't give it to me, so it was impossible." At the time, Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, reportedly urged Franken to step down amid the increasing allegations.
Franken said this week that he still has "some regrets."
The Hill reports that he has his own political action committee, which means he can use donations to fund a campaign for or against a candidate or other ballot initiatives.