Many have asked why so many conservative republicans who do not want Doug Jones to be Alabama’s senator would take the extraordinary step of asking the GOP nominee Roy Moore to step aside in an election just two weeks away.
The truth is that, despite the timing of the release of the allegations and the fact that these were released through The Washington Post, the overwhelming majority of conservative Republican leaders believe the victims. Senator Richard Shelby, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Ted Cruz, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are all skilled attorneys who have looked at the evidence objectively and reached the same conclusions. The victims in this case are in fact credible. In this article, I examine the evidence and explain why skilled non-establishment attorneys who are on the far right do not believe Moore.
For many in our state, the argument remains that no one can be sure what happened 40 years ago. Some stand behind Moore because he has been a staple of Alabama politics for so long that they believe he must be trustworthy. However, Moore’s response to the accusations has been highly questionable, and in comparison to the thorough and consistent stories of his accusers, it seems clear who we should believe.
In her interviews with The Washington Post, Leigh Corfman told the same story to reporters in 6 different interviews. She didn’t deviate much except on a few minor points, her facts remained consistent, and she remained stalwart that she was sexually assaulted by Moore at the age of 14. The stories the other women told the Post were also consistent. More notably, Corfman and the women did not reach out to the Post, the Post discovered their stories on its own accord and reached out to the women for comment.
In contrast, Moore’s responses to the stories have been wavering. Though he denies the accusations, his denials have not been all that concrete. For example, in reference to Gloria Deason, Moore stated, “As I recall she was 19 or older. I never provided intoxicating liquor to a minor. I seem to remember her as a good girl.” However, he later said of Deason that he didn’t remember going out on dates. How does Moore remember specifically that she was 19 but doesn’t remember taking her out on dates?
Additionally, in his interview with Sean Hannity, Moore did not answer with a straight “no” to the question of whether or not he sought encounters with young girls. Moore’s response was not an unequivocal no, but a shaky, “It would have been out of my customary behavior.” So, it wasn’t the norm for him to date underage girls, but it may have happened? That’s what this answer seems to imply.
It’s an awful precedent that Moore can respond to the accusations by insulting the media and refusing to answer questions. Some outlets have noted that they have approached Moore for comment or with the opportunity to debate Jones, but he has declined to respond.
Though Moore has provided evidence that he was not banned from the Gadsden mall (the prior manager vouched for Moore, as well as other mall employees) this is but one minor aspect of the accusations against Moore, especially considering the other allegations involve sexual misconduct with a minor. This is by no means the end of the investigation. Additionally, some local police officers, who were in the force at the time the conduct allegedly took place, told certain news outlets that rumors swirled around the department that Moore should be kept away from young girls.
Mixed stories like this are why we need be extremely cautious in believing Moore’s denial, more proof needs to be offered. And the proof that has been offered by the Moore camp is hardly compelling. If it was, Senator Cruz, Senator Lee, and Senator Shelby — who all endorsed Moore before the accusations — would no doubt publicly defend him.
Republicans are rightly concerned with losing a key Senate seat to a Democrat, but politics cannot be our only consideration. Supporting a likely child molester would harm the party beyond belief. If Moore would do the right thing and withdraw, there are Republicans with enough statewide name recognition that they could easily defeat Jones. But, time is running out.
As Republicans, we need to band together and ask Roy Moore to withdraw so we can keep the seat in Republican hands — it’s what’s best for our state, and it’s what’s best for our party.
Special Thanks to my Law Clerk Katherine Pickle who is a 2nd year law student at Emory Law School who helped me research, write and fact check this article.