Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, the head of the Senate Republican campaign committee, said Monday that if Alabama Judge Roy Moore wins the special election in Alabama next month, the Senate should vote to expel him.
Gardner said he believes the women who accused Moore of sexual misconduct and that they spoke with "courage and truth," and that what they recounted proves Moore is unfit to serve in the Senate and should not run for office. Their accusations were first published by the Washington Post last week.
Gardner's full statement:
"I believe the individuals speaking out against Roy Moore spoke with courage and truth, proving he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office. If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate."
As NPR reports, Moore is accused of initiating sexual contact with a 14-year-old in 1979 when he was 32. Five other women have accused Moore of inappropriate contact when they were teens. The fifth came forward on Monday.
Beverly Young Nelson said Moore groped her and tried to force himself on her in his car behind the restaurant where the then-16-year-old worked in 1977. NPR reports that she said she pleaded with Moore, then the assistant district attorney of Etowah County, Ala., to stop.
Gardner last week called the allegations against Moore “deeply troubling,” adding that “if these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out" of the race. His comments Monday came the same day that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "I believe the women" and called on Moore to "step aside." And the Democrat in Alabama's Senate race says that Moore will be "held accountable by the people of Alabama."
Doug Jones' campaign issued a statement Monday applauding what it calls "the courage" of Moore's accusers.