(CNN) In the event that you thought Roy Moore’s political foreseeable future couldn’t get any more bleak after four women went on the record with The Washington Post alleging that the Alabama Republican Senate nominee sought relationships with them when they were between 14 and 18, today showed things could get worse for Moore. Much, much worse.
In an appearance Monday afternoon with celebrity legal professional Gloria Allred by her side, a female named Beverly Young Nelson accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.
“Mr. Moore attacked me when I was a child,” Nelson said, recounting that Moore was a normal customer at a cafe where she worked well as a waitress when she was 15 and 16. She defined a harrowing chain of events that ended with Moore attempting to force her into a sex take action in a parked car — an show that, she said, left her with serious bruising on her neck.
Perhaps the most devastating moment of the press conference, even so, was when Nelson produced her 1977 high school yearbook that including this inscription : “To a sweeter extra beautiful girl I possibly could not declare ‘Merry Christmas’ Christmas 1977 Roy Moore, D.A. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory”
Through a spokesman, Moore dismissed the allegation.
“Gloria Allred is a sensationalist leading a witch hunt, and she is only around to make a spectacle,” Moore campaign chairman Costs Armistead said.
But it’s hard to dismiss the damage done here.
What Nelson is alleging is sexual assault, not sexual misconduct. Among the four ladies in the Post history was 14 at the time she encountered Moore, which is below the state age of consent — 16 — in Alabama. Others had been between 16 and 18 and said the encounters had been consensual. Moore was in his early 30s at the time.
Moore’s defense up to now possesses been that the ladies quoted in the Post story had been somehow cajoled into lying about their encounters with him — fake reports and all that.
That protection completely overlooked the actual fact that all four women allowed the Post to print their names. None of the four women knew one another. Do not require reached out to the Post in hopes of experiencing their history told. The Post spoke to more than two dozen witnesses who understood Moore between 1977 and 1982 — when these instances allegedly occurred — and corroborated the facts as the ladies relayed them.
Right now, Nelson adds her brand compared to that list. Like Leigh Corfman, who alleged that Moore touched her — and urged her to feel him — when she was 14, Nelson said she voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Which makes it complicated to cast this as some kind of politically motivated gambit.
To trust Moore’s denials at this point, you must also believe that:
1. All five of these women, who say they haven’t met one another, aren’t only all lying but doing this in a coordinated approach with remarkably similar reports of Moore’s quest for them.
2. The dozens of corroborating witnesses that the Post spoke to are as well part of a broad — and incredibly well-organized — conspiracy to hold Moore from the Senate.
3. Nelson forged — or had somebody forge — an inscription on her 1977 high school yearbook from Moore, OR Moore signing a teenage girl’s high school yearbook — and noting she was “beautiful” — was completely innocuous.
Are there people in Alabama — and nationally — that believe all those things? Sure. But it shows up that Republican Senate leaders aren’t among them.
Senate Majority Head Mitch McConnell told reporters in Kentucky Monday morning hours that the time had come for Moore to “step aside.” After that, even as Nelson’s press conference was overall, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, who heads the party’s campaign committee, introduced a statement calling on Moore to come to be expelled from the Senate if he manages to succeed the particular election on December 12.
“If (Moore) refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he will not meet up with the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate,” Gardner said.
President Trump, who continues to travel in Asia, has not said much of anything in Moore’s scenario — insisting that he has been too active to give attention to the allegations. But Trump returns to Washington on Wednesday and could be pressured to say something even sooner than that by method of clarifying where his White House comes down on Moore
Whatever Trump says, even so, it’s hard to see how Moore ever actually holds a Senate seat. Gardner’s pledge to vote to expel him if he wins ensures that such a motion would almost certainly pass. What senator — Democrat or Republican — could or would vote against expelling Moore at this point?
If past is prologue, Moore will continue in the race — arguing that this is all just one single big conspiracy by, good, everyone, to get him. But, it appears clear now that whatever Moore will, his chances of becoming a senator are significantly minuscule.