WASHINGTON (AP) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he has "no reason to doubt" women who have accused Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct when they were minors.
Sessions made the comment under questioning Tuesday by Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. Moore is running for the seat Sessions held until his confirmation earlier this year. But Sessions declined to say whether he thinks Moore should drop out of the race.
Women have accused Moore of groping them when they were teenagers decades ago.
Sessions says that would normally be a case for state prosecutors. But he also says the Justice Department will "evaluate every case as to whether it would be investigated."
— ABC News (@ABC) November 14, 2017
Some Republicans have floated the idea of abandoning Moore and rallying around a write-in candidate, perhaps Sessions, who remains popular in Alabama.
House Speaker Paul Ryan says Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore "should step aside." Ryan says allegations against Moore "are credible."
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Ryan joined the growing chorus of Washington Republicans calling on Moore to quit the race after two women stepped forward describing how Moore groped them when they teenagers decades ago. Moore has called the reports false.
Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have been struggling to find a way to force Moore out. His name remains on the ballot for the Dec. 12 special election against Doug Jones.
Democrat Doug Jones has unveiled a new campaign ad in which Alabama voters, including Republicans, say they can't vote for Roy Moore. Moore is facing demands from Washington Republicans to quit the race as women have emerged saying he groped them when they were teenagers decades ago.
Jones' commercial, coming days after the revelations about allegations of sexual misconduct against the Senate GOP candidate, highlights brief statements from several people.
One man says he's a lifelong Republican but "just can't" vote for Moore.
A woman asks "Don't decency and integrity matter anymore?"
— Doug Jones (@GDouglasJones) November 14, 2017
Jones appears briefly at the end saying he approved the ad.
The election is Dec. 12. Moore has dismissed the accusations as false.
Roy Moore's support from his fellow Republicans is hemorrhaging. And a second woman has accused the Alabaman of groping her when she was a teenager in the late 1970s.
They were the latest blows to Moore's effort to win an open Senate seat that suddenly seems up for grabs.
Moore denied the newest allegations and said he doesn't know his accuser.
But in New York, a tearful Beverly Young Nelson detailed an attack she says occurred when she was 16 years old and he locked her in a car.
Last week, The Washington Post reported other alleged incidents decades ago.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he believes Moore's accusers and wants the former judge to end his candidacy. Moore says McConnell should leave his post because he's disappointed conservatives.
(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Sessions on Moore accusers: 'I have no reason to doubt these young women"
- Alabama Governor Kay Ivey to vote Moore despite no reason to disbelieve accusers
- Moore calls Washington Post article about pursuing young women 'fake news'
- Future of The Fresh Market in Madison in doubt
- Trump casts doubt on reaching immigration deal by Feb. 8
- Trump casts doubt on June summit with Kim
- '13 Reasons' event canceled over Texas shooting
- Moore campaign fires back against media, accuser
- Roy Moore files complaint against accusers
- Benjamin Young sentenced to death