When asked whether or not she would oppose a “political comeback” from former Sen. Al Franken, whom she called on to resign in December 2017 following multiple accusations, Gillibrand suggested that decision is up to Franken, a move he now said he regrets.
“Anyone who wants a second chance, it’s always there for everyone,” the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate told the Washington Post.
“We’re a country that believes in second chances. We believe in someone who has humility, who comes forward to say they’re sorry and that they have paid consequences and want to reemerge ... There’s always a path for redemption for anybody.”
Gillibrand, who has championed her campaign on the #MeToo movement and women’s issues, said that same path of redemption is available for journalist Mark Halperin, who was accused in October 2017 of sexual harassment by at least a dozen women.
“It’s not for me to judge. It’s a choice that any individual can make,” she said. “It starts with humility and you acknowledge you’ve done something wrong. People make mistakes all the time.”
Gillibrand also defended her decision to publicly call for Franken’s resignation, becoming the first US senator to do so.
“I would do it again,” she said. “My decision was to call him to resign. His decision was to resign, to not wait for his congressional hearing, to not wait for his next election. Those were his decisions and his alone.”