When Roy Moore upended Luther Strange in the Republican primary for Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat in Alabama, it looked like the special election would be a mere formality. But things got scrambled when three women accused the former “Ten Commandments Judge” of sexually assaulting them, and six others claimed he’d pursued romantic relationships with them as teenagers. Moore railed that the whole thing was a librul conspiracy to keep him out of Washington. Ultimately, he lost to Democrat Doug Jones by just over one percent.
Moore has remained largely silent since then. However, he roared back into the spotlight on Monday, when he sued four of his accusers, claiming they cooked up the allegations as part of a deliberate effort to sabotage his campaign.
Read the complaint here. Moore claims that four of his accusers–Leigh Corfman, Beverly Nelson, Tina Johnson, and Debbie Gibson–conspired to wreck his personal reputation and political career “by accusing him of immoral acts he never committed and adamantly denies.” Also named as a defendant is Richard Hagedorn, whom Moore claims acted as an intermediary between Corfman and The Washington Post, whose publication of her allegations roiled the race.
Corfman, Nelson, and Johnson claim Moore molested them as teenagers, while Gibson claims to have dated Moore when she was a teenager. Moore wonders why the women waited some three decades to come forward. He apparently forgot that in the 1970s and early 1980s, women who came forward with claims of sexual assault in small-town Alabama were met with victim blaming and victim shaming of the worst type.
Moore held a press conference shortly after filing the suit in his hometown of Gadsden. Watch here, courtesy WVTM-TV in Birmingham.
Moore contended that anyone who reads the complaint would be able to see that the accusers were part and parcel of “a political conspiracy.” He claims that those who voted for him in November saw through it, and wants Alabama and the nation to see through it as well.
Moore claims to have proof there was a conspiracy between these four women, plus 19 others who remain unidentified for now, to smear his reputation by unveiling these allegations just over a month before the election. Looking at the complaint, though, it looks like much of Moore’s “evidence” consists of red meat for his base. He hammers heavily on Hagedorn and Gibson attacking him on social media. Moore served up more red meat on his press conference, pointing out that his accusers’ lawyers were from San Francisco and Washington.
This isn’t all that surprising, considering that Moore’s previous attempts to actually answer the charges have fallen flat. Moore claimed that Nelson had contact with him in her 1999 divorce–contradicting her claim that she never saw him again after she claimed he assaulted her in the late 1970s. But ThinkProgress and WHNT-TV in Huntsville both discovered that a different judge handled the initial matters in the 1999 case, and that it was dismissed before Nelson would have ever had to appear before Moore.
Later, Moore’s legal team claimed to have proof that Corfman was lying about where she lived when Moore picked her up in 1979, and rapped The Post hard for not looking into it sooner. But when reporters from The Post asked to see that proof, a Moore spokesman harrumphed that The Post was “a worthless piece of crap.”
If this is the best Moore can do, one has to wonder if the only conspiracy afoot is one intended to bludgeon these women into silence.
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