By Joseph Wulfsohn
Published July 22, 2019
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., defended her decision in leading the ousting of her former colleague, Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., saying she doesn't have "any regrets."
Gillibrand was asked at a Mic town hall event to respond to a report published in the New Yorker on Monday revisiting the first sexual misconduct allegation made against Franken by Leeann Tweeden.
"It only talks about one allegation, it talked about the first one... what about the seven other allegations?" Gillibrand began.
"There was really no critical or investigative journalism or reporting on the other seven and that certainly causes me to pause."
The 2020 candidate claimed all eight allegations against Franken were "credible" and two that are said to have taken place when Franken was a senator. Gillibrand also took a swipe at her Democratic colleagues mentioned in the New Yorker report as expressing regret for supporting Franken's forced exit in 2018.
"I could have told those seven senators and any of the senators -- the 35 senators who came out against him -- that there is no prize for someone who tries to hold accountable a powerful man who is good at his day job," Gillibrand said.
"But we should have the courage to do it anyway. So no, I do not have any regrets."
After getting some mild applause from the audience, she was then asked if she would ever support him if he ran for office in the future.
"Al Franken had every right to do whatever he wanted," she said. "If he wanted to wait for his Ethics Committee investigation, that's his decision.
"If he wanted to wait for his next election, his decision. My only decision was whether or not I chose to remain silent. My decision was whether or not I chose to carry his water and defend him with my silence."