I’m writing in support of Sen. Angus King’s recent statement that he now regrets having called for then-Sen. Al Franken’s resignation in 2017 (“The Maine Millennial: Sen. King – don’t reverse course on Franken,” July 28.) I urge anyone who thinks they know the story to read Jane Mayer’s article in the July 29 issue of The New Yorker, detailing the facts.

Franken was denied the opportunity to face his accusers and defend himself, which he asked for, before the Senate Ethics Committee. A key point is that the photograph leading to his downfall took place before he even ran for the Senate, when he was a comedian on a USO tour, wherein his accuser happily enacted similar “jokes,” Mayer reported; no one else on the tour saw evidence of any inappropriate behavior. The right-wing media, who hated Franken, went after him without any attempt to get the full story, according to Mayer.

Many people fell prey to that manipulation, including at least seven senators, who now express regret at having demanded Franken’s resignation.

Of course any thinking person, including Franken, supports the #MeToo movement. In this case, many allegations were unsubstantiated, several were untrue and there was a rush to judgment without evidence. His alleged, unproven transgressions were relatively minor; he immediately apologized and never lied, unlike his main accuser.

The outcome is an unfortunate example of how a good public servant’s career can be derailed by malice, fake news and colleagues, however well-meaning some may be, jumping on a PC bandwagon for the wrong reasons.


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