|Beverly Young Nelson and attorney Gloria Allred|
Nelson's words about a 1977 encounter with Moore outside the Old Hickory House restaurant went way beyond the statements of earlier accusers. Before yesterday, Moore had been depicted as a creepy guy who approached under-aged girls at a courthouse or a mall and wound up making inappropriate physical contact with them. Nelson, on the other hand, described a sexual assault.
Evidence is mounting that Moore has engaged in sins of the flesh. But his greatest sin might be arrogance. Moore has spent the past 25 years trying to con Alabamians into believing he is a man of God because of his propensity to tout The 10 Commandments with every other breath. The con game worked well enough that he twice was elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, and he probably could have held that position for a lifetime. But Moore had to defy higher-court rulings, causing him to twice be booted from his chief justice role.
The Alabama press had shown no ability, or interest, in unearthing the dark secrets in Moore's past, so he probably would have been secure had he remained in a statewide position. But arrogance -- and an exalted belief in his own abilities -- caused Moore to seek a nationwide slot in the U.S. Senate. And that drew the attention of Washington Post reporters, who exposed Moore's taste for the tender flesh of teen girls.
That brings us to Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's attorney general. He held the seat that Moore and Democrat Doug Jones now are seeking, and Sessions probably could have held it until he was fossilized. But Sessions apparently thought he belonged on a bigger stage, so he accepted the AG appointment. Now, he is one of many targets of Robert Mueller's investigation in the Trump-Russia scandal -- and Sessions has scrambled matters even more by repeatedly making false statements, under oath to Congress. Just this morning, Sessions testified before the House Intelligence Committee, where The New York Times reported he displayed "unsteady recall on Trump-Russia matters."
That brings us to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Like Sessions, McConnell says he believes the Moore accusers and suggests Moore should step out of the race. How rich is that? This is the same Mitch McConnell, who in fall 2016, did not believe U.S. intelligence reports that Russia was meddling in the presidential election and vehemently objected to the reports being made public. From a New York Times report about Russian meddling, which was known before the 2016 election and could have kept the tainted Trump administration out of the White House:
The classified briefings that the C.I.A. held in August and September for the so-called Gang of Eight — the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and the Senate and of the intelligence committees in each chamber — show deep concerns about the impact of the election meddling.
In the briefings, the C.I.A. said there was intelligence indicating not only that the Russians were trying to get Mr. Trump elected but that they had gained computer access to multiple state and local election boards in the United States since 2014, officials said.
Although the breached systems were not involved in actual vote-tallying operations, Obama administration officials proposed that the eight senior lawmakers write a letter to state election officials warning them of the possible threat posed by Russian hacking, officials said.
But Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican majority leader, resisted, questioning the underpinnings of the intelligence, according to officials with knowledge of the discussions.
So, Mitch McConnell believes Roy Moore's accusers -- and I believe them, too -- but McConnell's statement seems to be a political calculation. After all, Moore apparently does not subscribe to the pro-business GOP agenda, and he had the audacity to beat Luther Strange, McConnell's favorite, in the Alabama GOP primary.
That's the same Mitch McConnell who did not believe the U.S. intelligence community on matters of national security and election integrity -- because he knew if the revelations became public it would hurt the chances of a Republican (Donald Trump) becoming president.
That's what serves as "statesmanship" in postmodern America. Mitch McConnell doesn't have it, and neither do Roy Moore and Jeff Sessions. Not even close.
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