WASHINGTON — The chairman of the GOP’s campaign arm in the upper chamber vowed to kick out Roy Moore should he win next month’s Alabama Senate race, as a new accuser came forward with sexual assault allegations and her high school yearbook signed “Love, Roy Moore D.A.”
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said in a statement today that he believes Moore’s accusers “spoke with courage and truth, proving he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office.”
“If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate,” Gardner added.
While the Republican National Committee has not yet announced any alteration in their fundraising agreement with Moore, the NRSC backed out last week after the first allegations against Moore surfaced.
The Washington Post reported Thursday on the allegations of four women, all named on the record, who say that Moore asked them out and kissed them when they were teenagers. One woman who was 14 at the time, which is below the age of consent for any sexual contact in Alabama (second-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor), said Moore took her to a rural home, undressed down to his underwear, touched her through her bra and underwear, and moved her hand toward his genitals before she asked that he take her home. Leigh Corfman said she voted for Donald Trump.
At a New York press conference this afternoon alongside attorney Gloria Allred, Beverly Young Nelson gave an emotional account of an alleged encounter with Moore.
Nelson, who turns 56 this week, worked at the Old Hickory House restaurant in Gadsden, Ala., as an after-school job beginning when she was 15 years old. Moore, she said, “came in almost every night and he would stay until closing time,” sitting at the same counter seat. “He would pull the ends of my red hair … He would compliment me on my looks, and I would think nothing of it. I was accustomed to men flirting with me, because I was well developed and competed in beauty pageants. I did not attach any significance to Mr. Moore’s behavior towards me, and I did not respond to Mr. Moore’s flirtatious behavior.”
In 1977, the 16-year-old brought her high school yearbook to work and Moore offered to sign it. The yearbook was shown at the press conference with the inscription, “To a sweeter, more beautiful girl I could not say ‘Merry Christmas.’ Christmas 1977, Love, Roy Moore D.A., 12-22-77, Olde Hickory House.”
Here’s where Roy Moore signed Beverly Nelson’s high school yearbook pic.twitter.com/uRGYkC1zgO
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) November 13, 2017
A week or two after this, Nelson said, she got off work at 10 p.m. and was waiting for her boyfriend, who was late, to pick her up. Moore offered to give her a ride home.
“He stopped the car and he parked his car in between the dumpster and the back of the restaurant where there were no lights. There it was dark and it was deserted. I was alarmed and I immediately asked him what he was doing. Instead of answering my question, Mr. Moore reached over and began groping me, putting his hands on my breasts,” Nelson said. “I tried to open my car door to leave, but he reached over and locked it so I could not get out. I tried fighting him off, while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping he began squeezing my neck attempting to force my head onto his crotch. I continued to struggle. I was determined that I was not going to allow him to force me to have sex with him. I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought that he was going to rape me.”
“I was twisting and struggling and begging him to stop. I had tears running down my face,” she continued. “At some point he gave up. He then looked at me and said, ‘You are a child. I am the District Attorney of Etowah County. If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you.’ He finally allowed me to open the car door and I either fell out or he pushed me out.”
Nelson said the next morning her neck was “black and blue and purple,” and she kept quiet until telling her sister two years later.
“My husband and I supported Donald Trump for president,” she added. “This has nothing whatsoever to do with the Republicans or the Democrats. It has everything to do with Mr. Moore’s sexual assault when I was a teenager.”
Moore campaign chairman Bill Armistead called Allred “a sensationalist leading a witch hunt” and called Moore “an innocent man” who “has never had any sexual misconduct with anyone.”
“This is a witch hunt against a man who has had an impeccable career for over 30 years and has always been known as a man of high character,” Armistead said in a statement. “Let it be understood: the truth will come forward, we will pursue all legal options against these false claims and Judge Moore will be vindicated.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) tweeted that “in light of the most recent allegations and the cumulative effect of others, I believe #RoyMoore would be doing himself, the state, the GOP, and the country a service by stepping aside. If he continues this will not end well for Mr. Moore.”
The last Senate endorsers of Moore are Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.).