Senate GOP campaign leader: Expel Roy Moore from Senate if he wins

On Monday, the Los Angeles Times reported that Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., head of the Senate GOP campaign committee, said the Senate should vote to expel Judge Roy Moore if he wins the special election next month.

“I believe the individuals speaking out against Roy Moore spoke with courage and truth, proving he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office,” Gardner said.  “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.”

According to The Hill:

Gardner’s statement came hours after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he believed the women making accusations against Moore and the candidate should step aside.

Under the Senate rules, a vote of two-thirds of the body can expel a senator. That would be historic — the Senate hasn’t expelled a member since 1862.

Gardner’s words go further than his initial condemnation of Moore in the immediate aftermath of The Washington Post’s report on Thursday when a woman named Leigh Corfman claimed Moore had a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 years old and he was 32.

Three other women also told the newspaper that Moore pursued them while they were teenagers, but all of those women were above the state’s age of consent at the time and none said any sexual contact occurred outside of kissing.

On Monday, Beverly Young Nelson — accompanied by lawyer Gloria Allred —  accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16, but there have been a number of questions raised about that allegation, along with an accusation of forgery.

As The Hill correctly notes, Senate Republicans can’t get Moore’s name off the ballot.

“Even if he withdraws or is dumped by the state party, his name will still appear on the ballot. If he won in either of those cases, however, he would not be eligible for the seat by state law,” Ben Kamisar said.

What are Republican elites to do?  The Times said:

Because the election is next month, it is too late under state rules to remove Moore’s name from the ballot if he decides to step aside in the race, which is a special election to fill the seat held by Jeff Sessions, now Trump’s attorney general.

That leaves Republicans scrambling to persuade state leaders to postpone the election or consider a write-in candidate in a long-shot bid to stop Jones’ momentum — or at least block Moore from winning.

The top contender often mentioned for the write-in campaign, Sen. Luther Strange, was appointed to fill Sessions’ seat earlier this year, but lost the primary despite millions spent by McConnell allies against Moore. Some have floated having Sessions run for his old seat.

Strategists say they doubt Strange or another Republican write-in candidate could win, in part because they are not as popular as Moore — who has a deeply dedicated following among Christians and conservatives — and because they expect Moore’s supporters would still cast ballots for him even though those votes would not be counted if he withdrew.

“We’ll see,” McConnell said. “That’s an option we’re looking at, whether or not there’s someone who could mount a write-in campaign successfully.”

Translation: To hell with the voters in Alabama if they elect Roy Moore…

That certainly won’t sit too well with voters.

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