ST. PAUL, Minn. — Sen. Al Franken’s time in the U.S. Senate is coming to a close.
The Democrat’s resignation was expected to be made official Tuesday. It comes nearly a month after he announced his plans to leave Congress after a swirl of sexual misconduct allegations that began in November.
The timing of his official resignation was unclear. But it sets the stage for current Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to be sworn in Wednesday morning.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton picked his second-in-command last month to replace Franken. She plans to run for the seat in a November special election.
Franken joined the Senate in 2009 after winning in a months-long recount. He held an event in Minneapolis last week to thank supporters and friends.
Former GOP congresswoman and presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said Tuesday she is considering running for Franken’s Minnesota seat.
Bachmann, who was a member of Congress representing Minnesota until 2015, told “The Jim Bakker Show” that she’s mulling over whether she should run. Franken announced he would leave the Senate following accusations that he had groped several women, and his final day as a senator is Tuesday.
“I’ve had people contact me and urge me to run for that Senate seat,” Bachmann said. “The only reason I would run is for the ability to take these principles into the United States Senate,” she said, later adding, “The question is should it be me? Should it be now? But there’s also a price you pay. And the price is bigger than ever because the swamp is so toxic.”
“We’re trying to be wise,” Bachmann continued, suggesting that Franken was dropped by Democrats because the party wants to be able to hurl false accusations against Republicans in coming elections.
“I’m not saying that he didn’t do some bad boy things. I think he did. But he didn’t do what Harvey Weinstein did. … But the Democrat party, they even admit they threw Al Franken under the bus because they wanted to look pure,” she said.
Bachmann has been accused of employing gay conversion therapy at her Counseling Care clinics over the years, and the clinics have been hit with health inspector violations in 2005, 2009 and 2017, according to NBC News. In her interview with Bakker, she referenced the clinics, claiming that false allegations had left her clinics nearly bankrupt twice.
“My husband and I aren’t money people,” Bachmann said, suggesting that political candidates are now even larger targets for “frivolous lawsuits.”
“If you’re a billionaire, you can maybe defend yourself,” she said, later adding, “If you’re trying to go against the tide in DC, if you’re trying to stand for biblical principles in DC and you stick your head up out of the hole … the blades come whirring and they try to chop you off.”
Franken’s temporary replacement in the Senate is Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, D-Minnesota. She is expected to run in November’s special election.