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April 20, 2019

Does Kirsten Gillibrand think pols accused of sexual misconduct should get due process before being pressured to resign?

February 8, 2019
Off (Gilli) brand (Nati Harnik / AP)

In December 2017, in the face of a series of allegations of improper touching and forcible kissing leveled by a number of women against her colleague, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called for Sen. Al Franken’s resignation.

Going further than senators who had demanded the Senate Ethics Committee investigate the claims, Gillibrand said, “I believe it would be better for our country if he sent a clear message that any kind of mistreatment of women in our society isn’t acceptable by stepping aside to let someone else serve.”

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Wednesday night, a podcaster asked Gillibrand about the case of Virginia Lieutenant Gov. Justin Fairfax. In a detailed account, a woman has accused Fairfax of using force to make her perform oral sex on him in 2004. It’s an accusation, if true, far more serious than any leveled at Franken. Fairfax says the entire encounter was consensual.

While calling the woman’s story “deeply disturbing and credible,” Gillibrand — who, by the way, has called for the resignation of Virginia’s governor, who may or may not have once worn blackface or dressed as a Klansman in med school — called for “a full investigation” of the claims against Fairfax, which is to say, the type of investigation that Franken was set to get before she leaped to call for his resignation.

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