Moore Lawyer Sends Letter Threatening To Sue Alabama Media Group, WaPo

Brynn Anderson/AP

An attorney for Alabama Senate Republican candidate Roy Moore’s wife and his Foundation for Moral Law has sent a letter to a local news outlet asking the newspaper to retract stories about allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore and threatening to sue, according to several reports.

The Moores’ attorney is accusing AL.com — which has been covering the allegations against Moore of sexual misconduct and sexual assault — of defamation, libel, slander, fraud, malice, suppression, wantonness, conspiracy and negligence, according to a letter originally reported on by MSNBC, Fox6 and nationally syndicated radio host Steve Deace.

A similar letter was also sent to The Washington Post, which first reported on the allegations on Thursday, according to Deace.

The attorney, Trenton Garmon, from Garmon and Liddon based in Birmingham, Alabama, claimed the local news outlets falsely reported on the allegations of a fifth woman who came forward Monday claiming Moore had assaulted her when she was a teenager.

In the letter, Garmon also refuted reports that Moore signed one of the accuser’s yearbooks as “DA,” claiming he had done an analysis of the handwriting and confirmed it was not Moore’s signature. He also took issue with reports that Moore had been banned from Gadsden Mall and had a reputation of predatory behavior.

During an interview on MSNBC Wednesday morning, Garmon continued to defend Moore against the mall allegations, saying he was intimately familiar with the policies and procedures with dealing with nuisance individuals at the facility and said there has “never been a list with Roy Moore being banned from the mall.”

He said he sent the letters because the Moores want people to hear the facts from “both sides” and they don’t want voters to rush to judgment.

“The things that are out there that have been reported is really just rabbit trails,” he said. “So what we’re saying to voters and what we’re saying to people that are rushing to judgment is allow the facts to sort themselves out through, hopefully, a jury trial eventually, we think we will get there.

In the letter Garmon asked to be notified within five days if the news reports were meant to be viewed as satire. If not, they requested a retraction be made within five days, otherwise Garmon threatened to begin the process of filing a lawsuit on behalf of both the Moores and their foundation.

But AL.com’s publisher, Alabama Media Group, is standing by its reporting.

“Roy Moore seeks election to the United States Senate. As such a public figure, he merits and can expect intense scrutiny by the electorate and the media on its behalf, including by Alabama Media Group, the state’s largest media outlet,” Vice President of Content for Alabama Media Group Michelle Holmes told AL.com.

“We stand behind our past reporting on Roy Moore, and vow to continue to doggedly pursue the truth on behalf of the people of Alabama.  These threats will not silence us, and they will not slow us,” she said.

The letter was sent on Tuesday. The Washington Post, the Roy Moore Campaign and Garmon’s law firm did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment. 

The letter is also rife with spelling and grammatical errors. Read it below:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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