Roy Moore wants you to believe it wasn’t Roy Moore who signed “Roy Moore, D.A.” in the yearbook of a woman now accusing him of attempted rape.
The attorney for the embattled Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, Phillip L. Jauregui, suggested Wednesday in a press conference that the evidence provided by Beverly Young Nelson to back up her claim that Moore attacked her when she was 16 in the 1970s was actually a fake.
Without ever addressing Nelson’s allegation that Moore attacked her when she was 16, Jauregui went straight after Nelson's credibility.
During a Monday press conference with attorney Gloria Allred, Nelson showed off her high-school yearbook that had a caption and signature that read: “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas. Christmas 1977. Love, Roy Moore, D.A. 12-22-77 Olde Hickory House.”
Olde Hickory House is the restaurant then-teenager Nelson worked at when Moore allegedly attempted to rape her.
“Look at the 1977 after ‘Merry Christmas,’” he said. “I want to ask you, do you think it was written by the same person?” Jauregui added: “Judge Moore says there is no way in the world that’s his handwriting.”
He then claimed that Moore never used to sign “D.A.” after his name when he was a district attorney. Instead, Jauregui alleged, “when he was on the bench, his assistant, whose initials are D.A., Deborah Adams, would stamp his signature on documents and put capital D.A.”
Jauregui concluded: “Do you still hold that everything in that yearbook was written by Judge Moore? That’s not an allegation, that’s a question.”
The attorney said he has sent a letter to Allred demanding the physical copy of Nelson‘s yearbook be released to a “neutral custodian,” so that his “professional examiner” can determine if it is genuine. Allred responded in a statement later Wednesday, pledging to hand over the yearbook only if “either or both” of the Senate judiciary or ethics committees hold a hearing about the allegations.
Then Jauregui implied Nelson wasn't telling the truth when she said she hadn’t seen Moore against since their late-’70s encounter.
“As it turns out, in 1999, Ms. Nelson filed a divorce action against her then-husband, Mr. Harris. Guess who that case was before? It was filed in Etowah County. The judge assigned was Roy S. Moore... There was contact. Judge Moore signed an order.”
Minutes after the press conference, a sixth woman came forward to accuse Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct. “He kept commenting on my looks, telling me how pretty I was, how nice I looked,” Johnson said, adding that Moore eventually grabbed her buttocks. “He didn't pinch it; he grabbed it.”
Moore, however, is losing allies seemingly by the hour. He faces mounting pressure from his would-be colleagues in the U.S. Senate to step aside from the race altogether.
Many GOP senators—including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—have said that the five women accusing Moore of sexual misconduct appear to be telling the truth. The Republican National Committee and National Republican Senatorial Committee have cut their financial ties with Moore’s campaign.
Despite those unprecedented actions, Moore’s name will remain on the ballot for the Dec. 12 contest against Democrat Doug Jones because Alabama’s election laws state that a candidate’s name cannot be removed from the ballot within 76 days of an election. As Republicans in Washington desperately search for a viable write-in candidate, Moore has been defiant, pledging to remain in the race. Some Republicans are calling on President Donald Trump to weigh in and figure out a way to push Moore out, but the president has not yet commented publicly on the allegations facing Moore.
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), the chairman of the NRSC, said that if Moore wins the election, the Senate should vote to expel him. At least one GOP senator, Jeff Flake (R-AZ), has said he would back Jones over Moore.
And although President Trump has yet to publicly comment on the matter, his own daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump said Wednesday: “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children. I’ve yet to see a valid explanation [from Moore] and I have no reason to doubt the victims’ accounts.”