An unexpected scandal from a state judge. This deed of his, defines his position and questions his morales.
House Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday said allegations of sexual misconduct against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore are “credible,” and he called on Moore to step down from the race.
Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore was a regular at the mall in Gadsden, Alabama in the late 1970s and early 1980s, where he was known to flirt with teenage girls.
Moore would often go to the mall alone, where he would flirt with teenage girls, and employees at the mall were told to keep an eye on him.
Four women last week accused Moore of sexually pursuing them when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s. One woman, Leigh Corfman, said Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 years old.
A fifth woman on Monday alleged that Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old. Beverly Young Nelson said Moore attempted to force her to have sex with him, and said she thought he was going to rape her.
“He should step aside,” Ryan said at a press conference with House Republican leaders. “Number one, these allegations are credible. Number two, if he cares about the values and the people he claims to care about, then he should step aside.”
Greg Legat told both outlets that he worked at the mall in the 19080s and that an off-duty police officer, J.D. Thomas, told him to keep an eye out for Moore.
Legat told the New Yorker that Thomas said Moore was banned for the mall but did not specify a reason. Thomas would not discuss Moore with the New Yorker when reached by phone.
Jason Nelms, who regularly visited Gadsden Mall as a teenager in the 1980s, told both outlets that he was told that workers had to keep an eye out for an older man who tried to pick up girls at the mall. Nelms said that he was later told the man was Moore, per the New Yorker and AL.com.
Sources reported last week that Moore often walked around the Gadsden Mall alone, citing several women who worked there at the time.
The New Yorker was not able to confirm on the record that Moore was banned from the Gadsden Mall, but several unnamed locals told the magazine that Moore was not allowed at the mall. However, more than a dozen people told the New Yorker that they had heard that Moore was banned from the mall, including former law enforcement officers.
Etowah County, Alabama resident Sheryl Porter told AL.com that it was widely known in the area that Moore liked to date teenage girls.
“Him liking and dating young girls was never a secret in Gadsden when we were all in high school,” Porter said. “In our neighborhoods up by Noccalula Falls we heard it all the time. Even people at the courthouse know it was a well-known secret.”
Sources report, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he was not aware of the largely-white extremist group “sovereign citizens” targeting law enforcement officials, but said that he believed black extremist groups had, even though he couldn’t name one such group off the top of his head during a House Judiciary hearing Tuesday.
Sessions was being grilled by Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) about an internal report the Justice Department issued in August in which the FBI said “black identity extremists” had engaged in “in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement.” She asked him if he considered Black Lives Matter an extremist group.
“I’m not able to comment on that. I have not so declared it,” Sessions said.
Sessions said he had not read the Justice Department report and he was not sure who ordered it. He did say he knew of “some of the alleged targeting of officers by certain groups.”
“It will be interesting to see the conclusions of that report, but I am aware that there are groups that do have an extraordinary commitment to their racial identity,” Sessions said. “Some have transformed themselves even into violent activists.”
Bass would later ask Sessions if he could name a black identity group from today that targeted law enforcement, as opposed to the groups from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s named in the August report.
Bass also questioned Sessions about white extremist groups. Sessions said he was not aware of any FBI reports on white extremist groups targeting law enforcement.
Bass asked Sessions specifically about the sovereign citizens movement, which the FBI said was related to the killings of six police officers since 2000. She asked if he was aware their targeting and killing of police officers.
“I’m not aware of all their crimes, but I know they are known to have violent tendencies,” he said.
Image Source: JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS