By Samuel Mattison
Alabama Political Reporter
Former U.S. Senator and Attorney General Jeff Sessions told U.S. representatives at a House Judiciary Committee meeting that he has “no reason to doubt” Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore’s accusers.
Five women have stepped forward saying Moore pursued a relationship with them when they were teenagers. Moore was a 30-year-old assistant district attorney in Etowah County at the time.
Of the five women, two have said Moore sexually assaulted them.
The Moore campaign has denied all the claims made.
U.S. Rep. Shelia Lee, D-Texas, questioned Sessions at the meeting if his Justice Department will investigate the case of Moore’s accusers.
The attorney general responded by saying Moore’s accusers case would normally be handled in the state court system. Sessions, who heads the Justice Department, said he was advised that the attorney general should not get involved in the campaign of Moore.
Sessions did not comment on whether Moore should step down as many others have already.
On Tuesday, Speaker of House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called on Moore to step down.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called on Moore to resign outright on Monday after previously calling on him to resign if the allegations were true last week. He suggested a write-in candidate to face Democrat Doug Jones.
He is joined by eight other Republican senators in calling him to resign outright.
Two Republican senators revoked their endorsements of Moore after the allegations were first reported in The Washington Post.
Other Republicans have commented that Moore should resign outright, and the rest have not commented on the allegations.
U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Mont., suggested that Moore will be expelled from the Senate if he wins the December election. If the expulsion is successful, Moore would be the first expelled senator since the Civil War.
Moore’s response to the Republican backlash has been combative. Moore wrote on his Twitter that McConnell should step aside instead of him.
“The person who should step aside is @SenateMajLder Mitch McConnell,” Moore wrote. “He has failed conservatives and must be replaced.”
Moore has since used the Post’s story to fundraise calling on his supporters to defeat the “Clinton-Obama machine.” He has suggested in emails to supporters that McConnell is trying to stop his candidacy.
The former state Supreme Court chief justice has never been known to resign in the face of controversy, and he has signaled he won’t this time.
The Court of the Judiciary kicked Moore out of the state Supreme Court in 2003 after he refused to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the Supreme Court building in Montgomery. The same court suspended Moore in 2015 after he refused to follow the same-sex marriage ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States.