Warned that Sean Hannity might turn on him, Senate candidate Roy Moore on Wednesday wrote an open letter to the Fox News host, claiming that allegations of sexual misconduct are nothing more than a smear campaign.

Moore's appeal seemed to satisfy Hannity — for the moment, at least. After saying Tuesday that Moore should leave the race if the Alabama Republican could not “remove all doubt” within 24 hours, Hannity did not call for Moore to drop out on Wednesday and declined to say whether he believes the accusers.

What made Moore's letter compelling enough to secure a stay from Hannity? Read it below, annotated using Genius. To view an annotation, click on the yellow, highlighted text.

Dear Sean:

I am suffering the same treatment other Republicans have had to endure.

A month prior to the general election for U.S. Senate in Alabama, I have been attacked by The Washington Post and other liberal media in a desperate attempt to smear my character and defeat my campaign.

Over the last 40 years I have held several public offices, including Deputy District Attorney, Circuit Judge, and Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. In addition to running five statewide and three county campaigns for public office, I have been involved in two major controversies that attracted national attention, one about the Ten Commandments and the other the sanctity of marriage.

The Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, Court of the Judiciary, and Attorney General have investigated, scrutinized, examined, and vetted me, not to mention every opposing candidate against whom I have run.

I have been married for almost 33 years to my wife Kayla. We have four children and five granddaughters.

We are in the process of investigating these false allegations to determine their origin and motivation. For instance, we have documented that the most recent accuser, Beverly Nelson, was a party in a divorce action before me in Etowah County Circuit Court in 1999. No motion was made for me to recuse. In her accusations, Nelson did not mention that I was the judge assigned to her divorce case in 1999, a matter that apparently caused her no distress at a time that was 18 years closer to the alleged assault. Yet 18 years later, while talking before the cameras about the supposed assault, she seemingly could not contain her emotions.

My signature on the order of dismissal in the divorce case was annotated with the letters “D.A.,” representing the initials of my court assistant. Curiously the supposed yearbook inscription is also followed by the same initials — “D.A.” But at that time I was Deputy District Attorney, not district attorney. Those initials as well as the date under the signature block and the printed name of the restaurant are written in a style inconsistent with the rest of the yearbook inscription. The “7’s” in “Christmas 1977” are in a noticeably different script than the “7’s” in the date “12-22-77.” I believe tampering has occurred.

Are we at a stage in American politics in which false allegations can overcome a public record of 40 years, stampede the media and politicians to condemn an innocent man, and potentially impact the outcome of an election of national importance? When allegations of events occurring 40 years ago — and never before mentioned during a 40-year career of public service — are brought out and taken seriously only 30 days before a critical election, we may be in trouble as a country.

I adamantly deny the allegations of Leigh Corfman and Beverly Nelson, did not date underage girls, and have taken steps to begin a civil action for defamation. Because of that, at the direction of counsel, I cannot comment further.

— Roy S. Moore.