Around December 2017, when the #Me,Too movement was in full force the Democratic Party’s NY US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was the first senator to speak out against the then Senator Al Franken. She led the charge to push for his resignation after multiple women had accused him of sexual misconduct because of her desire for -0- tolerance for any and all sexual inappropriateness. By her actions, she forced her colleagues’ hands in a deft public maneuver that made it hard for them not to go along with her.
Sen. Al Franken had been blind sighted, claimed he didn’t remember a lot of what was being alleged and when he did recall things, his memory of what happened was very different. But he apologized for any of his actions having caused anyone pain and discomfort. He had volunteered to fully cooperate with a thorough ethics investigation, as he asked for due process. But the noise was so loud and mob like that he decided to resign to spare the Democratic Party from being harmed. He had already been damaged.
I argue that there needs to be a conversation about what the consequences should be in each individual case involving claims of sexual inappropriate behaviors in the workplace with a sense towards proportionality. The standard should be to start with an ethics review for all those accused, before one’s resignation is demanded. Just as in any business environment, the offending party could face consequences from being given a warning to cease and desist from certain behaviors to being out-rightly fired, subsequent to an investigative process.
These standards on how to deal with these cases might have helped Senator Gillibrand’s handling of her own office’s #Me,Too case regarding one of her staffers. In short, the staffer who filed a sexual harassment complaint against the senator’s aide Abbas Malik, resigned because she felt that her assertions had not been given serious consideration. Mr. Malik was forced to resign only after there was proof provided about other similar allegations.
Senator Gillibrand has been feeling the blow-back from all this history from Democratic Party voters and donors after she announced her bid to run to be its presidential candidate for 2020.
To defend her actions, this is what Senator Gillibrand has been saying: “The truth is we miss him and people loved him, but he had 8 credible allegations against him of sexual harassment for groping, two of them since he was a senator, and the eighth one was a congressional staffer. And I had a choice to make whether to stay silent or not, whether to say, ‘That’s not okay with me,’ and I decided to say that.”
It’s my opinion that not all the claims were credible. The initial complaint involved a controversial photo which I’m convinced was a set up, as described below. Four where anonymous. The four had this right to remain anonymous, but for Senator Gillibrand to push forward aggressively for Senator Al Franken’s head on a platter without allowing him the most basic due process procedure, smells of crass politics. In short, there were options that she could have taken between remaining silent and pushing for the death sentence.
The photo that did in Sen. Al Franken…
Here are the reasons I have doubts about that photo taken during a 2006 USO tour where Mr. Franken is shown touching Ms. Lee Ann Tweeden’s breasts while she’s fully clothed but appears to be asleep.
1.) Al Franken’s brother who took the photo describes the context of what happened very differently from Ms. Tweeden’s version.
2.) She had been a frequent guest of “Hannity” on Fox News.
3.) Does this have a familiar ring? As per a 11/16 Daily Caller report, “Famed Republican political operative Roger Stone knew that a news anchor would accuse Democratic Minnesota Sen. Al Franken of sexual assault.”
“Let’s just say Sen. Franken’s time in the barrel is about to come,” Stone told The Daily Caller over text early Thursday morning, hours before Leeann Tweeden came out with her claims.”
“Stone, a longtime political adviser to President Trump, is known for his “dirty tricks.” He did not elaborate to The DC how he knew Tweeden was going to come out with her claims”.
4.) Ms. LeeAnn Tweedon had a history of being in provocative photos in order to garner added publicity.
5.) Here’s a 12/6/2017 tweet by Tom Arnold that casts doubt on Ms. Tweeden’s assertions:
I’m disappointed with my friend Leeann Tweedon. Her partner at KABC John Phillips is a Roger Stone pal & they coached her for weeks to bring Al Franken down. I’d hoped she’d use her voice to speak out for all women again predators like Roy Moore & Donald Trump but she’s a birther
On the 19th of March 2019, Senator Gillibrand tweeted out an explanation for her above described actions, followed by a request for monies, but the responses were brutal.
“I knew that calling on Al Franken to resign was a risk, but silence wasn’t an option. I’m running for president to fight for a country that values women, and I’m ready to share this vision with the American people. Will you give $1 to help us bring our vision to the debate stage?”