During an event on Sunday, Republican Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore threatened to sue the Washington Post for publishing a story claiming that he engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor 40 years ago. The girl was reportedly 14-years-old at the time.
According to the Associated Press, Moore called the article “fake news” and expressed his belief that the allegations were politically motivated to undermine his race for the U.S. Senate seat.
Why would they come now? Because there are groups that don’t want me in the United States Senate.
We do not plan to let anybody deter us from this race.
While the timing of the allegations appear suspect, CNN reported that the Post’s article was based on more than 30 interviews of people confirming the allegations, which led many Senate Republicans, such as John McCain (R-AZ), to disavow Moore and ask him to step down.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave a more measured response on the matter, stating that the president believes that Moore will do the right thing and step down if allegations are true. However, she also added, “Like most Americans the President believes we cannot allow a mere allegation, in this case one from many years ago, to destroy a person's life.”
The allegations against Moore follow a now all too familiar pattern of sexual harassment allegations that have swept across Hollywood and now seem to be making their way to other career fields, according to a USA Today report.
Given the timing, nature, and seriousness of the allegations, the White House’s response appears to be the most sensible. If these allegations are true, then these perpetrators must swiftly leave their positions of public and private influence, however; if they are not true, then will those who are falsely accused be shown the same level of justice?