Sessions says he has ‘no reason to doubt’ Moore accusers
WASHINGTON » Attorney General Jeff Sessions voiced no skepticism Tuesday of accounts by women accusing Roy Moore of groping or pursuing romantic relationships with them when they were teens, and hinted the Justice Department might look into allegations against the besieged Republican Alabama Senate candidate.
“I have no reason to doubt these young women,” Sessions told a House committee. His words seemed certain to carry heft in Alabama, where he was a longtime GOP senator until becoming President Donald Trump’s attorney general this year and remains one of that state’s most influential Republican voices.
Answering questions before the House Judiciary Committee, Sessions didn’t rule out a federal probe into the charges.
“We will evaluate every case as to whether or not it should be investigated,” Sessions said.
His remarks came as House Speaker Paul Ryan joined the growing chorus of Washington Republicans calling on Moore to drop out of the race. Republicans fear damage from two potential outcomes should he remain a candidate: Moore wins and GOP senators are tainted by association with a colleague accused of molesting teen-agers, or he loses the Dec. 12 election to a Democrat.
“These allegations are credible,” Ryan, R-Wis., told reporters on Tuesday. “If he cares about the values and people he claims to care about then he should step aside.”
Senate Republicans face limited options in trying to force out the former state Supreme Court judge and outspoken Christian conservative, whose name remains on the ballot for the special election against Democrat Doug Jones.
One option they’ve considered is backing a writein campaign with another Republican, perhaps Sessions or Sen. Luther Strange, who Moore defeated in a GOP primary in September. Strange told reporters Monday that a write-in candidacy “is highly unlikely.”
Moore is showing no sign of quitting, denying allegations by two women that he molested them and sending out fundraising emails emphasizing his stance as a maverick battling establishment politicians.
Beverly Young Nelson, the latest accuser of Alabama Republican Roy Moore, reads her statement at a news conference, in New York, Monday. Nelson says Moore assaulted her when she was 16 and he offered her a ride home from a restaurant where she worked....