WHO IS LYING, AND WHO IS TELLING THE TRUTH?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 21, 2017) — In a column published on Tuesday, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore responded to allegations made by a number of women beginning on November 9 by categorically denying them.
Posted in the “Editorial” section of the mainstream AL.com, whose editorial board published a stinging rebuke of the nationally-known candidate on Monday along with two other Alabama mainstream media outlets, writer Cameron Smith stated in his introduction, in part:
I’m not a seasoned reporter or career journalist but I’ve worked with a wide variety of media outlets including my current role as a regular columnist for AL.com. I’ve worked as an attorney in the Senate and the House of Representatives, and I’m employed by the R Street Institute, a public policy think tank. I do believe that a free, independent press is a critical safeguard of liberty in America. That constitutionally protected task won’t function properly if readers or viewers don’t trust the people asking questions or providing commentary. As much as I try to regularly challenge my biases, they are well documented across hundreds of columns and often quite different from many of my friends in the media.
The women’s allegations against Moore range from flirtatiousness on his part to sexual assault between the late 1970s to early 1980s.
In his responses to Smith’s questions, Moore wrote:
While this is clearly a political attack, it is also a personal attack on my character and reputation. I have a daughter and five granddaughters. I also have three sons whom I have taught to treat women with respect. It is horrifying that anyone would allege that I assaulted anyone, which is why the people who have known me and have known my character for decades are standing by me. I have sought to do everything with honor and integrity my entire life, and though I would never claim to be perfect, I am absolutely innocent of each and every one of the allegations of wrongdoing made against me.
On November 9, with just slightly more than 30 days before the special December 12 election, The Washington Post published the first allegations from four women alleging that they dated Moore when they were teenagers, that he purchased one of them alcohol when she was underage, and that he molested then-14-year-old Leigh Corfman after befriending her outside of a courtroom.
The Post published a follow-up article on November 15, written by the same three authors as the initial story, in which two women who said they worked at a nearby mall during that time period reported that Moore harassed them while at work and was “banned” from patronizing the mall purportedly because of that behavior.
On November 13, The New Yorker reported that “Locals Were Troubled by Roy Moore’s Interactions with Teen Girls at the Gadsden Mall,” with The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin writing the following day, “If Moore could be banned from a mall, he can be kept out of the Senate.”
On November 20, Moore’s campaign posted a press release titled, “NATIONAL MEDIA BIAS DEBUNKED: KEY WITNESSES REFUTE THAT ROY MOORE WAS ON A MALL BAN LIST,” a claim Moore repeated in his written interview with Smith and which appears to have been corroborated by former mall manager Barnes Boyle.
However, a reported former mall music store employee, Greg Legat, told CNN’s Gary Tuchman that Moore was “banned from the mall.” Legat said he once reported Moore’s having “walked by” the store to mall security but that at another time, after Moore was married, he visited the store with his wife and made a purchase and Legat did not report it.
On November 13, a fifth accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, appeared at a press conference with high-profile attorney Gloria Allred to tearfully report that more had once offered her a ride home from her job at a restaurant and sexually accosted her after driving to the back of the restaurant where it was dark. Toward the end of the presser, Allred held up a purported yearbook which Young Nelson claimed more had signed despite not being affiliated with her high school in any way.
Young Nelson reported that Moore visited the restaurant “every night,” a claim refuted by three reported former restaurant employees in a press release posted at Moore’s campaign website on Monday.
Although at the time, Moore was serving as Etowah County assistant district attorney, Young Nelson referred to him repeatedly as “the district attorney.” The signature in the yearbook which she alleged was Moore’s contains the initials “D.A.” after his name, which Moore’s attorney claimed in a press conference last Wednesday is a strong indication that the signature is fraudulent.
Young Nelson asserted that she expected the offer of a ride from More that night in late 1977 or very early 1978 because her boyfriend at the time was late. On Monday, a second contemporaneous boyfriend who runs a ministry for abused persons, including sexual assault and trauma, spoke with Breitbart News and opined that Young Nelson is not telling the truth about Moore.
The Blaze, which characterizes Moore’s campaign as “beleaguered” and reported Legat’s account, also reported Moore’s refutation containing the recollections of two other mall employees, one of whom was an operations manager and the other an employee at Morrison’s Cafeteria Corporation “from the late 1970s through the mid-2000s” that Moore was not prohibited from the premises at any time to their knowledge.
“There was a prominent man of Etowah County, whom is now deceased that was banned for reasons such as the allegations against Judge Moore,” the Morrison’s longtime employee was quoted as having said. “However, due to respect for the family, I decline to reveal his name. Despite allegations against other patrons of the mall, I never heard of Roy Moore’s name come in conversation with any such misconduct against women or a supposed banning from the Gadsden Mall.”
A 1969 West Point graduate and Vietnam War veteran, Moore graduated from law school in 1977 at the age of 30. He has served as Etowah County deputy district attorney, as a private practitioner, as a Circuit Court judge, and was elected twice as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, a position from which he was once removed and once suspended by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.
On Monday, a reporter for AL.com declined to respond to The Post & Email when asked, regarding the current accusations leveled against Moore, “Do you recall ever hearing similar allegations earlier in Moore’s career?”
A number of congressmen and media outlets expressing outrage over Moore’s alleged behavior and mistreatment of women in general are now facing scandals within their own organizations in the persons of CBS’s longtime journalist Charlie Rose; The New York Times’s “star reporter” Glenn Thrush, formerly of Politico; and vaunted Michigan Congressman John Conyers.
Vice News, too, is investigating a report of sexual harassment on the part of a former West Coast bureau chief.
Rep. Jackie Speier and Rep. Barbara Comstock were the first members of Congress to report that “sexual harassment and misconduct” pose a significant problem on Capitol Hill. With that came the revelation of a “shush fund” allegedly drawn from to pay — and silence — victims of sexual misconduct on the part of members of Congress.
On Friday, Moore claimed in a campaign email that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is working with Allred to derail his election on December 12. Both he and his wife Kayla have promised that The Washington Post will be sued for what they say is “fake news.”
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.