Tags: al franken | resignation | michael smerconish

CNN's Michael Smerconish on Franken: 'Not Sure This Is the End'

Image: CNN's Michael Smerconish on Franken: 'Not Sure This Is the End'
Sen. Al Franken (Mandel Ngan/Getty)

By    |   Thursday, 07 Dec 2017 04:55 PM

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken read "a very convoluted, well-written statement of a guy acknowledging no fault" in his resignation speech on the Senate floor Thursday, leaving CNN commentator Michael Smerconish with the impression that "I'm not sure this is the end."

"Essentially, while not admitting anything, he feels obligated to respect the women's right — plural, the accusers — to have their day in court," Smerconish told Brooke Baldwin.

"But I must say, in view of the totality of the statement, I keep coming back to him saying 'I'm resigning in the coming weeks.'

"I can't help but think that he's wondering if this pendulum is going to swing — and if people are going to think this is an overreaction, maybe after Tuesday, depending on what happens in Alabama."

Smerconish was referring to the special election runoff for Senate involving Republican candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused of sexual misconduct with underage girls when he was in his 30s.

"Maybe I'm wrong," he told Baldwin, "but I'm not sure this is the end."

Franken, 66, who was first elected to the Senate in 2008, said he would resign from Congress in the coming weeks following a wave of sexual misconduct allegations and after more than 30 Democrats called for him to quit.

"I may be resigning my seat, but I am not giving up my voice," Franken said in the Senate chamber.

"I know in my heart that nothing I have done as a senator — nothing — has brought dishonor on this institution," he declared.

Franken quit just a day after two women disclosed misconduct allegations against him — in 2006, which he had denied, and in 2009.

The number of women coming forth now total at least eight.

"Why 'coming weeks?'" Smerconish asked Baldwin of Franken's timetable.

"I've heard of a resignation that says: 'I've done wrong, and I'm out of here right now.'

"But that's not what this was.

"This was a very convoluted, well-written statement of a guy acknowledging no fault, but saying that in this climate he doesn't think he can hang on.

"He was abandoned by the base of his own party," Smerconish said. "And that's why he probably thinks he has no choice.

"He's not admitting to anything. Kind of begs the question: Why isn't he staying and fighting?

"Franken didn't really have much of a choice but head for the door," Smerconish observed, noting the Democratic calls for him to resign.

"I'm just not sure it's closed."

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Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken read "a very convoluted, well-written statement of a guy acknowledging no fault" in his resignation speech on the Senate floor Thursday, leaving CNN commentator Michael Smerconish with the impression that "I'm not sure this is the...
al franken, resignation, michael smerconish
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2017-55-07
Thursday, 07 Dec 2017 04:55 PM
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