NEW YORK – Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar thinks former Sen. Al Franken will make a comeback.
At a TimesTalk forum last weekend, Klobuchar joined three other female senators–Susan Collins (R-ME), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)–to discuss what is like to be a woman in the Senate. When the topic of sexual assault came up, the discussion turned to Franken and his resignation following multiple accusations of sexual harassment.
“As I’ve always told Al, he’s had two acts and he’s still going to have a third one,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar has stayed in touch with Franken, calling him a “good friend.” Klobuchar implied the accusations against Franken were not as “egregious” as other sexual assault allegations, suggesting Franken may not hold political office again but will “find another place to be effective.”
“What he did was wrong, and he has said that,” Klobuchar said. “But I think that a lot of these people who have done egregious things, beyond the pale, I think you won’t see them again. I think there’s other people that will somehow atone for their sins, and we may not see them in politics again but they’ll find another place to be effective and to make a difference.”
When asked whether she felt Franken was driven out of the Senate without due process, Klobuchar reminded the crowd that she did not publically call on him to resign. While Klobuchar maintained that Franken resigned by his own choice and was not forced out as some critics have implied, she did emphasize the need for due process within the #MeToo movement.
“I think that as we are dealing with change in the workplace–which is really important–it can’t just be about famous people being toppled down. It also has to be about a safer workplace and a decent workplace for everyone from the factory line worker to the nurse in the hospital,” Klobuchar said.
“We, at the same time, have to make sure that there is due process and we have to make sure there is [graduated] sanctions,” Klobuchar added.
Last December, Franken resigned in disgrace after eight women accused the senator of sexual assault. Since announcing his resignation, Franken has failed to address the shocking accusations directly, instead focusing on continuing his involvement in politics. In a thank you letter sent to supporters earlier this year, Franken hinted at returning to the world of politics, saying he is looking for ways to be involved during this “critical election year.”