BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy says he regrets calling for Sen. Al Franken to resign instead of waiting for an ethics investigation.

The Vermont Democrat released a statement Monday, saying the Ethics Committee "should have been allowed to investigate and make its recommendation," the Burlington Free Press reported.

"I have stood for due process throughout my years as a prosecutor and in chairing the Judiciary Committee," Leahy said in the statement provided by his office. "I regret not doing that this time."

Leahy's regrets were first reported by Politico.

Franken, a Democrat, announced his resignation from the Senate earlier this month following allegations of sexual misconduct. At the time, Leahy and dozens of other senators had urged the Minnesota Democrat to step down.

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton appointed fellow Democrat Lt. Gov. Tina Smith to take Franken's seat when he resigns in January.

___

Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com