GOP senator joins calls for ethics probe if Moore wins Senate election

Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki On paper, Wilkie is the perfect candidate for VA secretary, but his qualifications go further GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (R-N.C.) said Thursday that if Roy Moore is elected to the Senate next week, there should be an ethics investigation into the sexual assault and misconduct allegations against him.

Tillis said on Buzzfeed’s “AM to DM” Twitter morning show that he thinks an investigation should take place before the chamber moves to expel Moore or take other action.

"We need to examine the facts and let those facts lead us where they may,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Overnight Defense: Washington reeling from Trump, Putin press conference Feehery: The long game MORE (R-Ky.) has also called for an immediate ethics investigation if Moore wins the Alabama special election, while National Republican Senate Committee Chairman Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenators urge DOJ to probe whether Russians posed as Islamic extremist hackers to harass US military families GOP moderates hint at smooth confirmation ahead for Kavanaugh Overnight Defense: VA pick breezes through confirmation hearing | House votes to move on defense bill negotiations | Senate bill would set 'stringent' oversight on North Korea talks MORE (Colo.) has called for his expulsion from the Senate.

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Moore faces allegations from nearly 10 women who say he pursued them as teenagers when he was in his 20s and 30s, including multiple women who say he assaulted them. 

Tillis originally called for Moore to withdraw from the race and said Thursday that he still stands by that position, but added that until Moore is under the jurisdiction of the Senate, the decision is in the hands of Alabama voters.

"There’s Supreme Court precedent to say that we really don’t have the authority to deny him being seated,” he said. “But we do have jurisdiction over members, and we use an ethics investigation and then we look at what remedies come from that.”

Tillis also criticized colleagues who have stood by Moore on the basis that he will help advance the GOP agenda.

“Anyone that would say, ‘Yeah, he’s got problems but he’s a Republican vote’ really ought to rethink whether or not they should be in this institution,” he said.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpShocking summit with Putin caps off Trump’s turbulent Europe trip GOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit MORE threw his support behind Moore this week, saying that Alabama can’t have a “liberal person” like Democratic challenger Doug Jones in the Senate.

Following Trump’s endorsement, the Republican National Committee (RNC) reinstated its support of Moore, giving $170,000 to the Alabama Republican Party to help the campaign, after originally distancing itself from the candidate.

Gardner, the chairman of the Senate GOP's campaign arm, broke with Trump and the RNC on Thursday, saying "we will never" endorse Moore.

Also Thursday, House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanGOP lambasts Trump over performance in Helsinki Trump stuns the world at Putin summit Former Trump aide says he canceled CNN appearance over 'atrocious' Helsinki coverage MORE (R-Wis.) repeated his calls for Moore to drop out of the campaign, regardless of polls showing a tight race with Jones. 

“I think he should have dropped out,” Ryan told reporters at his weekly news conference. “Just because the polling has changed doesn’t change my opinion on that, so I stand by what I said before.”