Roy Moore was always toxic. Now he is political poison.
Every day seems to bring new evidence that Moore is not telling the truth, while his accusers appear to be.
If you have any lingering doubt, take the time to watch Monday’s on-camera interview by NBC of Leigh Corfman. She makes a powerful and compelling case that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a 14-year-old child.
If Moore has a conscience, he will do what is right – quit the race to be the next U.S. senator from Alabama. But he won’t do it, of course. His record shows that he rarely does the right thing. He is consistently self-absorbed and self-righteous – a man full of guile, but not an ounce of shame.
So Moore will surely stay in the race, but he should be repudiated by voters at the polls on Election Day, Dec. 12. His implausible denials and obstinate attitude only do damage to him and the Republican Party. It is his sad legacy, but richly deserved.
Leigh Corfman Speaks Out
Moore was a 32- year-old assistant district attorney when Corfman says she met him on a bench outside a courtroom. He allegedly lured her to his remote cabin, removed most of her clothing and molested her.
Poised and articulate, Corfman conveys a persuasive account of how she was intimidated and frightened, saying she “didn’t deserve” to have an adult man “prey upon” her.
When challenged as to why she waited nearly 40 years to divulge what she says happened, she explained that fear drove her silence to all but her family and a few friends.
Over the years, Corfman said, she struggled with the notion of coming forward to confront Moore. On several occasions, she almost did. But always she worried about what a powerful man would do to her young children and her ability to support them financially.
When Washington Post reporters recently sought her out, Corfman was reluctant to speak. Assured there were others who said they had been victimized by Moore and were willing to disclose their similar stories, she finally felt emboldened to tell her story.
When told during the NBC interview that Moore denies he ever met her, she said quite simply, “I wonder how many ‘me’s’ he doesn’t know.”
It turns out there are eight other women who insist that Moore either sexually pursued, harassed or assaulted them. Their stories are all very specific as to time, place and manner of acts committed. The mothers of some of the women corroborate their accounts of creepy meetings with Moore when their daughters were teenagers – how he fawned over them.
These allegations are compelling. They have the ring of truth. Moore’s denials do not.
Roy Moore Contradicts Himself
Moore’s only interview in response to the accusations came Nov. 10 on Sean Hannity’s nationally syndicated radio show. The former judge did not acquit himself well. Since then, he has refused to be questioned, which can be revealing of a person who has much to hide.
Hannity posed tough questions in the style of a courtroom cross-examination. He first asked Moore if, as a 32-year-old man, he ever dated 17- or 18-year-old girls.
Moore replied: “If I did, I’m not going to dispute anything.” This response sounds like a “yes.”
But Hannity persisted, asking the same question a second time, to which Moore replied differently: “I don’t remember ever dating any girl without the permission of her mother.” That’s a conditional “yes.”
Since Moore’s answers appeared inconsistent, Hannity asked the question for a third time. In response, Moore adamantly denied ever dating teenagers when he was a 32-year old prosecutor. That’s a clear “no.”
There is a reason lawyers seize upon the conflicting or contradictory statements that people make. They suggest the person is not telling the truth.
Indeed, there is a standard jury instruction in which jurors are told that if they find that a witness is deceptive in part of his testimony, they may conclude that the witness is deceptive in all of his statements.
Which account given by Moore was the truth and which accounts were lies? Was his first answer truthful, but the other two responses lies? Or was it some other combination? All three accounts cannot represent the truth, since they were all different.
People who are incapable of getting their story straight tend to be lying. This is why cross-examination is often referred to as the “engine of truth.” When done effectively, it exposes all manner of prevarication and lies.
Moore’s History of Lawlessness
Before the Alabama primary, I argued on air that it would be a serious mistake for Republicans to nominate Roy Moore. He has a long history of lawlessness.
If elected to be a U.S. senator, Moore would bring to the chamber his tempestuous personality and seditious approach to government. For his party and the Senate at large, he would prove to be destructive, not constructive.
Moore was twice removed from his position on the Alabama Supreme Court for defying federal court orders on important constitutional issues, including his refusal to abide by a United States Supreme Court decision.
It is not within the legal province of state court judges to render the final word on the U.S. Constitution. Under the Supremacy Clause, such matters are decided by the federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.
We do not allow state judges to subvert federal law. In the seminal case of Ableman v. Booth (62 U.S. 506), the Supreme Court held that state court judges can never issue rulings that contradict the decisions of federal courts.
Yet either though ignorance of the law or insufferable arrogance, Moore has repeatedly attempted to usurp power and substitute his own judgment for that of the federal judiciary. He pretends to embrace the law. But in truth, he has shown nothing but contempt for the rule of law whenever it fails to conform to his own religiously driven interpretation.
On this basis alone, Roy Moore is not fit to serve in the United States Senate. The appalling accusations of sexual assault and harassment only reinforce that conclusion.