Senate GOP campaign chairman calls for Moore to be expelled if he wins

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who leads the Senate GOP campaign arm, is calling on the Senate to expel embattled Alabama GOP nominee Roy Moore if Moore wins December’s special election.

“I believe the individuals speaking out against Roy Moore spoke with courage and truth, proving he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office,” said Gardner, who is the first GOP senator to publicly raise the specter of expulsion.

 “If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate,” he said.

{mosads}Gardner’s statement came hours after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he believed the women making accusations against Moore and the candidate should step aside.

Under the Senate rules, a vote of two-thirds of the body can expel a senator. That would be historic — the Senate hasn’t expelled a member since 1862.

Gardner’s words go further than his initial condemnation of Moore in the immediate aftermath of The Washington Post’s report on Thursday when a woman named Leigh Corfman claimed Moore had a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 years old and he was 32.

Three other women also told the newspaper that Moore pursued them while they were teenagers, but all of those women were above the state’s age of consent at the time and none said any sexual contact occurred outside of kissing.

Last week, Gardner was one of the first GOP lawmakers to condemn Moore, calling on him to step down “if these allegations are found true.” 

Moore has adamantly denied the claims made in The Washington Post and has threatened to sue the paper. 

On Monday, Moore faced a new accusation.

Beverly Young Nelson held a press conference with lawyer Gloria Allred, and accused Moore of assaulting her decades ago, when she was 16.

Senate Republicans cannot get Moore’s name off the ballot for next month’s election.

Even if he withdraws or is dumped by the state party, his name will still appear on the ballot. If he won in either of those cases, however, he would not be eligible for the seat by state law. 

Moore has given no signal that he will step down, and the state party has shown no interest in forcing his hand.

As a result, it seems likely that Moore will remain on the ballot. If he wins, the Senate would be faced with the question of whether to seat him or expel him from office immediately. 

– This report was updated at 5:39 p.m.

Tags Cory Gardner Cory Gardner Mitch McConnell Roy Moore

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