Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said Monday morning that his fellow Democrats in the Senate should not have pressured Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to resign over sexual misconduct allegations before the Ethics Committee conducts an investigation.
“I think that Al Franken should go through the process of what he’s asked for, due process,” Manchin said on CNN’s “New Day,” adding that women deserve to be heard and that the accused deserve a formal investigation.
Manchin first aired his opinion to Politico in a podcast interview published Monday morning. He told Politico that the pressure from Democratic senators for Franken to resign was “atrocious.”
Asked on CNN whether he thinks it was premature for Franken to announce that he will resign, Manchin replied, “Most certainly.”
“The political rancor in here is just unbelievable to me, how you can destroy a human’s life and his family and everything that they stand for without giving him a chance,” Manchin added. “It’s just ridiculous.”
CNN’s Alisyn Camerota then asked Manchin if he thinks President Donald Trump should resign over sexual misconduct claims made against him.
“I’m not going to make that determination because he went through an election process,” Manchin responded before Camerota cut him off to note that an election is different from an investigation.
Camerota asked Manchin again if Trump should be investigated or if the senator has “moved on.”
“I’ve moved on. I really have moved on,” Manchin replied.
At least two other senators also believe that it was premature for Franken to announce his resignation, according to Politico. Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) called for Franken to resign but has told Franken that he regrets doing so, two unnamed people familiar with the conversation told Politico. Another unnamed senator who called for Franken to resign told Politico that senators “prematurely” called on Franken to step down.