Roy Moore, hitherto occupied with suing people who accused him of sexually predatory behavior during his failed GOP Senate campaign in Alabama, has lent his unsolicited endorsement to the similarly troubled Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh.
Moore first came to the nominee’s defense Monday — a day after a California professor told The Washington Post that Kavanaugh had tried to rape her in high school — when he shared a supporter’s quip with his 80,000 Facebook followers: “They are Trying to ‘Judge Moore’ Him with Unproven Sex Assault Claim.”
The verb, “to Moore,” proved popular in the former Alabama judge’s circle of remaining loyalists but didn’t spread far beyond it.
President Trump and many of the Senate Republicans trying to salvage Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination have abandoned Moore since he lost Alabama’s U.S. Senate election to Democrat Doug Jones, after more than half a dozen women accused Moore of pursuing them when they were teenagers.
The series of allegations began with a Post report in November, a month before the special election, headlined: “Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32.”
But as Kavanaugh’s friends spoke out to support him and his accuser Christine Blasey Ford wavered on whether she would testify against the judge next week, Moore made his sympathies explicit.
“Brett Kavanaugh, like me, has withstood numerous investigations and vetting by the most rigorous legal and political authorities,” he wrote in a statement published Tuesday evening.
Moore followed up his statement with an interview that aired Wednesday on One America News Network, a right-leaning outlet whose reporter saw a “striking resemblance” between the Moore and Kavanaugh situations — two solid conservatives on the cusp of securing powerful positions when decades-old accusations suddenly went public.
“They don’t care about transparency,” Moore said, referring to Democrats who seized on the accusers’ claims in both cases. “They know that on the one hand, you offend women if you believe somebody that says they weren’t guilty of sexual misconduct. On the other hand, if you don’t believe them, you’re condemning the person accused of guilt to prove his own innocence. It’s a Catch-22. ”
Pessimistically, Moore said he expected Kavanaugh’s Republican supporters to “lie down and allow Democrats to run the show with a politically motivated charade,” as they did in his case. In fact, Trump endorsed both Moore and Kavanaugh after they were accused. And while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) initially predicted Moore would be expelled from government if he were elected, he later delegated judgment to the voters and an ethics committee.
And contra Moore’s equation of his situation with Kavanaugh’s, the nominee has to date been accused by one woman, whose story was disputed by a witness she said was in the room. (That witness — Kavanaugh’s high school classmate, Mark Judge — has since said he won’t testify at any Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the matter.)
Moore’s list of accusers, on the other hand, grew throughout his campaign, until eight women had alleged behavior ranging from underage predation to sexual assault, and reporters discovered that some of the accusations had circulated in Moore’s hometown for decades.
Moore wound up losing to Jones by about 22,000 votes out of more than 1.3 million cast.
Since the election, Moore has filed a series of lawsuits “to defend my honor and character against vicious false political attacks by liberals,” as he wrote in one of his fundraising notes.
He most recently sued Sacha Baron Cohen, a comedian who tricked Moore into sitting for an interview with a fake sex offender-detecting wand.