AL Rep.: ‘Contested’ Sexual Misconduct Allegations Won’t Change My Vote

Eric Schultz/The Huntsville Times

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said Monday that he would still vote for Roy Moore to become Alabama’s next senator, despite a wave of allegations of sexual assault and misconduct made against Moore by women who were teenagers at the time of the alleged incidents.

“America faces huge challenges that are vastly more important than contested sexual allegations from four decades ago,” Brooks said in a text message to AL.com.

“Who will vote in America’s best interests on Supreme Court justices, deficit and debt, economic growth, border security, national defense, and the like?” Brooks continued, according to the paper. “Socialist Democrat Doug Jones will vote wrong. Roy Moore will vote right. Hence, I will vote for Roy Moore.”

The Washington Post first reported last week on four women who alleged that Moore pursued relationships with them when they were teenagers. One, Leigh Corfman, alleged that Moore had attempted to initiate sexual contact with her — “She says that he guided her hand to his underwear and that she yanked her hand back,” the Post reported — when she was 14.

On Monday, Beverly Young Nelson alleged Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old. In a press conference, she showed members of the media her high school yearbook, which included a note from Moore, who had signed it with “love.” Moore would have been 32 at the time, though he denied knowing Nelson, in addition to consistently denying the other allegations against him. 

Brooks said he believed “there are millions of people in America who would lie in a heartbeat if it meant adding another Democrat to the Senate.” Brooks brought up his alma mater, Duke University, as an example of dishonest sexual assault allegations.

“As a Duke grad, I vividly remember the false accusations against and defamation of the Duke lacrosse team. The players were horribly treated by the news media until the truth finally came out and totally exonerated them,” Brooks said. “As an attorney, I know accusations are easy. Proving them to the satisfaction of a judge, a jury, or here, voters,  is another thing. I do not know enough of the evidence to know with confidence what the true facts are.”

Powerful Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Cory Gardner (R-CO), have called for Moore to step aside from the race.

Brooks, along with current interim Sen. Luther Strange (R-AL), were Moore’s opponents in the Republican Senate primary. But the congressman seemed to dismiss the idea of running as a write-in candidate to Roll Call, AL.com noted.

“As long as Roy Moore is our nominee, a Republican cannot wage a write-in campaign, under Alabama Republican Party rules, and be on the ballot as a Republican in the future,” he said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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