Senator Joe Manchin is breaking with his own party over Al Franken, saying they jumped the gun in forcing him to resign ... and suggesting he be given a chance to stay.
We got the West Virginia Democratic Senator in D.C. Tuesday where we asked if he truly felt Franken shouldn't have to resign before an Ethics investigation is complete.
In short ... damn right. According to Joe -- who wasn't one of at least 39 senators calling for Al to step down -- Franken wasn't given the due process he deserved after being accused of sexual misconduct -- and says his resignation was premature.
BTW ... Franken has yet to announce his last day in office.