Dem donor: Withdrawing support for senators who urged Franken to quit an ‘option’

A prominent Democratic donor is weighing her future support of the party after numerous Democratic senators urged Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPolitical world mourns loss of comedian Jerry Stiller Maher to Tara Reade on timing of sexual assault allegation: ‘Why wait until Biden is our only hope?’ Democrats begin to confront Biden allegations MORE (D-Minn.) to resign in the face of sexual misconduct allegations.

Susie Tompkins Buell told The New York Times on Sunday she believes the dozens of senators who called for Franken to step down last month “moved too fast,” and withdrawing support from those who led the push is “an option.”

“I am a big believer in helping more women into the political system but this has given me an opportunity to rethink of how I can best help my party,” Buell wrote in a text to the newspaper.

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Buell has donated millions to liberal causes and candidates, and has backed female candidates such as Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Warren, Pressley introduce bill to make it a crime for police officers to deny medical care to people in custody Senate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.), the newspaper reported. Gillibrand was among the first to call for Franken’s resignation.

“As for Gillibrand, unfortunately, I believe she miscalculated and has shot herself in the foot,” Buell said.

Multiple women accused Franken late last year of kissing or groping them without consent during photo-ops and at other events, including some before he was elected senator in 2008.

Most lawmakers, including Franken, initially called for an ethics investigation. However, as the allegations mounted, Franken’s colleagues began calling for him to resign.

He announced in a floor speech in December that he would step down. He officially resigned last week, and former Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina SmithTina Flint SmithGun control group rolls out first round of Senate endorsements Pelosi: George Floyd death is ‘a crime’ Senate Democrat introduces bill to protect food supply MORE (D) was sworn in as his replacement. 

Buell, who also spoke to BuzzFeed News, told The New York Times that she did not know Franken personally, but was impressed by his work as a senator. 

Buell founded the clothing brand Esprit, and also offered money to help a woman who accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE of harassment. She said the money was not used and was refunded.

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