McConnell: Roy Moore Will Face Ethics Probe ‘Immediately’ If He Wins Seat

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talks to reporters before the vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, April 7, 2017. The Republican majority changed Senate rules to lower the vote threshold for Supreme Court nominees from 60 votes to a simple majority to counter Democratic resistance. McConnell also supported Trump's airstrike on Syria. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday afternoon indicated he will not let Roy Moore serve in the U.S. Senate for long, if at all.

During a Wall Street Journal event, McConnell said that Moore would face a swift ethics probe if he wins the December election to fill the Alabama Senate seat.

“I think it’s safe to say that if he were to be sworn in, he would immediately be in a process before the Senate Ethics Committee,” McConnell said at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council when asked if he would try to expel Moore from the Senate. “He would be sworn in and be asked to testify under oath as well, and it would be a rather unusual beginning.”

McConnell and Republican leaders are also discussing ways to “salvage the seat” before the December election. McConnell said that a write-in campaign is the only option Republicans have to replace Moore before the election. He said that Attorney General Jeff Sessions likely has the best chance to pull off a write-in campaign but that he may not be “available.”

“The Alabamian who would fit that standard would be the attorney general,” Mr. McConnell said. “He’s totally well known and extremely popular in Alabama.”

Asked if a write-in campaign by Sessions is his preferred option, McConnell replied, “I’d like to save the seat, and it’s a heck of a dilemma when you’ve got a completely unacceptable candidate bearing the label of your party within a month of the election.”

Earlier on Tuesday, McConnell said that he and the White House were discussing the options for the race in the wake of allegations from several women that Moore pursued romantic or sexual relationships with them while they were teenagers. He said he would have further discussions with administration officials upon Trump’s return from his trip to Asia.

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