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Mike Siegel: Roy Moore and Al Franken

Are they really the same issues?

Mike Siegel
November 20, 2017 - 9:45 am
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Roy Moore has been alleged with serious and credible charges to have committed violent acts against underage minor girls. Citizens living in the area where these acts allegedly took place claim that he was known to hover and lurk in the area and allegedly was banned from entrance to the mall where he had allegedly stalked young girls.

If these claims are true, Roy Moore is unfit to serve in the United States Senate. Notice, however, that the language used here is speculative. The word “alleged” is used repeatedly. Also, the word “if” is used regarding the veracity of these charges.

That is the problem with this case. One could legitimately ask why the charges were brought, apparently conveniently, after Roy Moore became the Senate candidate for the Republicans in the December 12 election in Alabama.

On the other hand, regardless of when the charges were brought, they are serious and if true need Moore to vacate the race.

Moore has unequivocally denied these charges and asserts he has done none of the acts that the 9 alleged victims alleges happened.

There are 2 parallel paths in this case. One is political and one is legal.

Regarding the legal case, there are only allegations and the statute of limitations may be a factor limiting any charges against Moore. In addition, the legal system has formal proceedings which protect any defendant, so even if Ray Moore were to be charged with a crime not precluded by a statute of limitations, he would have the full range of responses available to him in asserting his innocence.

That legal process cannot happen before the special election in which he is the Republican candidate.

That leaves the Alabama voters and all of us with the political track in this case.  It really boils down to who you believe, who has the credibility of their assertion, and what the motivating factors are for each party in this case.

One way to determine if there was contemporaneous evidence of the alleged behavior by Moore would be to do a test of the written message in the high school yearbook signed allegedly by Roy Moore on December 22, 1977. Philip Jauregui, Moore’s attorney, is suggesting that Beverly Young Nelson, the alleged victim of violence by Moore in his vehicle when she was 16, lifted the signature from a court document signed by Moore in 1999 when Ms. Nelson was divorced.

This suggests the complicated nature of this case, but having 3 independent handwriting experts, without knowledge of each other, do an analysis of the signatures to give their assessment of the legitimacy of the signatures would be helpful.

As it stands now, the voters of Alabama will have to make the judgment about the truth or falsity of the assertions and the truth or falsity of Judge Moore’s denials. And, from a political point of view, isn’t this is what our system is about. It is the most democratic method for resolving this election. We may never know beyond a reasonable doubt what the truth is, but that is not required in an election. It is only required to convict an individual of a crime.

The Al Franken case is less complex. There is video evidence of his vulgar behavior and a clear statement from Ms. Tweeden about what Franken did to her in specific and graphic terms.

She has been forthcoming and credible and her assertions have been confirmed by Franken. This leaves only what to do about Franken and his Senate seat. The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, has referred this case to the Senate Ethics Committee. This is not a satisfactory solution since these kinds of cases typically get buried there. Of course, that is also a safety valve for other members of the Senate who may have committed similar or equally sexually abusive behavior.

There needs to be continued pressure on Franken to resign. It is clear he is guilty of the alleged sexual abuses by his own admission and his effectiveness as a senator is over.

The irony here is that McConnell is assertively demanding that Roy Moore drop out of the Alabama Senate race, yet he protects the democrat Franken by sending the case to the Ethics Committee.

More proof that Mitch McConnell is deserved of the label “RINO,” Republican in Name Only.”

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