Politics

GOP Senator: ‘Somebody’s Going to File an Ethics Complaint’ Against Moore

Leading in polls, Moore faces uncertain future even if he wins Tuesday’s election

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., said Wednesday he would welcome the opportunity to investigate the allegations against Roy Moore if he wins the Alabama Senate special election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If Republican candidate Roy Moore wins the Alabama Senate special election on Tuesday, one of his new colleagues will file an ethics complaint against him when he is seated, a GOP senator predicted.

“Somebody’s going to file an ethics complaint against him, that’s just a fact,” Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy told CNN on Wednesday. “Then there’s going to be a full-fledged investigation. People are going to be talked to under oath, we’ll get the facts, and then the Senate will get to vote.”

Kennedy’s comments echo those of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“I had hoped earlier he would withdraw as a candidate. That’s obviously not going to happen,” McConnell said Tuesday. “If he were to be elected, he would immediately have an Ethics Committee case, and the committee would take a look at the situation and give us advice.”

Watch: Three Things to Watch as Alabama Barrels Toward Dec. 12

Moore has been dogged by allegations of pedophilia after the Washington Post reported in November that he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old woman he was dating while he was in his mid-30s. Moore allegedly dated other teenage women around the same time.

The former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice has denied any wrongdoing.

Kennedy said Wednesday he has tried not to “prejudge the facts.”

“My point of view is that if a candidate who is in his 30s took out a 14-year-old girl, undressed her, fondled her, asked her to fondle him — that’s a crime, and he’s not qualified to be a United States senator,” Kennedy said. “Those are the allegations. Mr. Moore has denied them. And he’s not going to quit. Now the people of Alabama get a say — and they’re entitled to a say.”

Kennedy has not endorsed Moore or his Democratic counterpart, former U.S. attorney Doug Jones, for the seat vacated by President Donald Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He did, however, say he would relish the opportunity to “hear Mr. Moore under oath, cross-examined” and to talk to the witnesses.

The president delivered a full-throated endorsement of Moore on Monday, saying the GOP needed his vote in the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority. The Republican National Committee promised their financial backing Monday as well.

Kennedy pointed out he hasn’t endorsed in the race — “[I] don‘t intend to. It’s up to the people in Alabama right now.”

“Some of my colleagues, they’ve weighed in on both sides. That’s their business. I have enough trouble paddling my own canoe.”

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