By Thomas Phippen
Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken didn’t have to resign as he did, but was “drummed out” by members of his own party, according to one Republican senator.
“Franken didn’t have to resign, he chose to.” Louisiana Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy told the Washington Post Thursday. “He got drummed out by his colleagues,” Cassidy said, adding that “you can’t help but notice there was no due process.”
Franken announced Thursday that he would resign his seat in the coming weeks after several women accused him of sexual harassment, including forcibly kissing women and groping women while posing for photographs.
Several Democratic senators, including the leadership and most of the caucus’s female members, said Wednesday that Franken needed to step down immediately, though Franken had been insistant that the Senate Ethics Committee investigation would clear him of wrongdoing.
Cassidy said Franken “decided to accept being drummed out. I’m not defending him, you just can’t help but observe what I’m saying is true.”
Cassidy was asked if there was a difference in how the two parties were dealing with allegations of sexual harassment. Judge Roy Moore, Republican candidate for the Senate for Alabama, has been accused of sexual assault and dating teenage girls when he was in his 30s.
“I think our leadership has been fairly forceful that we would prefer a different candidate than Mr. Moore,” Cassidy said. “That said, do you really think it’s really productive right now for the people of Washington, D.C. to tell the people of Alabama how to vote? I would argue that Mr. Moore won the primary over resentment from people in Washington, D.c. telling people in Alabama how to vote.”
“I, among others, have withdrawn my endorsement for Mr. Moore,” Cassidy said, “But it’s up to him to decide whether or not to accept that.”
Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton similarly told the Associated Press Thursday that the voters in Alabama “are going to make that decision” of whether they want Moore in the Senate despite the accusations, “just like the people of this country made their decision last year on Donald Trump.”
Moore has denied all the allegations, claiming he is victim of an “attack on my character and reputation.”
The Alabama special election will be held Dec. 12.