Update: A Republican Virginia Congresswoman in a district carried by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election is calling for Roy Moore to drop out of the race. Rep. Barbara Comstock in her statement compared Moore with other men recently accused of sexual harassment, assault and other crimes, the Hill reported.
“Harvey Weinstein, Anthony Weiner, Roger Ailes, Roy Moore…No MOORE of this,” Comstock said Friday in a statement. “I believed the stories from the victims of Harvey Weinstein, Roger Ailes and others because they were substantiated and consistent with the stories of how sexual predators operate."
“To date Roy Moore has not provided any credible explanation or response to the detailed allegations,” Comstock continued. “The defense from some of his supporters is beyond disturbing. Today, the National Review Editorial board also set out the case against Roy Moore and why he should drop out. Roy Moore should not serve in the U.S. Senate."
Comstock won Virginia’s 10th District by 6 points in 2016, but President Trump lost the district to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by 10 points, according to The Hill.
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Update: The National Republican Senatorial Committee has reportedly removed itself from its joint fundraising agreement with Roy Moore.
Politico reports that Federal Election Commission paperwork filed on Friday showed that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is no longer listed as part of a joint fundraising committee with Moore's campaign, the Alabama Republican Party, and the Republican National Committee.
The other three entities remain in the contract, as of Friday afternoon.
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As we detailed earlier, yesterday, we reported that Roy Moore, the Steve Bannon-backed Republican candidate for the Alabama Senate seat formerly held by AG Jeff Sessions, has been accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year old girl back in 1979, when he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney.
Moore handily won the Republican primary in the race to fill Session's old seat back in September, and was gearing up to face Democrat and former US Attorney Doug Jones in a special election next month.
But the allegations are threatening to derail his campaign, and possibly throw the senate seat to Democratic contender Doug Jones, a former US attorney.
Several Republicans have already stepped up to condemn Moore and demand that he ‘step aside’ (with the important caveat that he should do so only if the allegations are true). And now, the White House has offered its thoughts about the allegations.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters traveling with Trump in Asia that the president believes a “mere allegation”, especially one from many years ago, shouldn’t be allowed to destroy a person’s life.
But that if the accusations are true, President Donald Trump is confident Moore “will do the right thing and step aside."
The Washington Post reported Thursday that an Alabama woman said Moore had sexual contact with her when she was 14 and he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. It also reported he had inappropriate contact with three other women ranging in age from 16 to 18.
The Moore campaign denied the report as “the very definition of fake news and intentional defamation.
According to the Washington Post, the legal age of consent in Alabama, now, and in 1979, is 16. Today, a person who is at least 19 years old who has sexual contact with someone older than 12 and younger than 15 has committed sexual abuse in the second degree. Sexual contact is defined as touching of sexual or intimate parts. The crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.
In Alabama, the statute of limitations for bringing felony charges involving sexual abuse of a minor in 1979 would have run out three years later, and the time frame for filing a civil complaint would have ended when the alleged victim turned 21, according to Child USA, a nonprofit research and advocacy group at the University of Pennsylvania.
Of course, Moore has vociferously denied the claims as an attack on his campaign by his liberal opponents. While no new polls have been taken since the allegations surfaced last night, Moore was beating Jones by double digits according to at least one poll cited by RealClearPolitics.
The question now is: Will Moore step aside? And if he doesn’t, can he still win?
The fate of tax reform - not to mention the Republicans’ broader legislative agenda - may hang in the balance.
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As pressure for Moore to step aside mounts, Axios is reporting that Sen. Mike Lee of Utah has asked Roy Moore's team to stop using Lee's image on their campaign fundraising materials. While it's too late for Moore to be removed from the ballot, but responses like those from Lee show he's quickly losing support from the GOP.