White House considering emergency plan for Attorney General Sessions to return to Alabama Senate seat
Developments on Day 295 of the Trump Administration:
Senate Majority Leader McConnell Calls on Moore to Withdraw
The GOP’s troubles over Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama (pictured) expand, with a fifth woman accusing the controversial former judge of sexual misconduct and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling on Moore to withdraw from December’s special election.
The latest accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, told a news conference in New York that Moore attacked her when she was 16 r in Etowah County, Alabama: “I tried fighting him off, while yelling at him to stop, but instead of stopping, he began squeezing my neck, attempting to force my head onto his crotch.”
She said Moore warned her that “no one will believe you” if she told anyone about the encounter in his car.
Twice suspended from his seat on the Alabama Supreme Court, Moore became the darling of the hard right in the contest to take over the seat of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In September, he triumphed over the interim Senator, Luther Strange, who had the support of the GOP Senate leadership and Donald Trump’s endorsement.
But last week, a thoroughly-researched story in The Washington Post from 30 sources documents how Moore, as a district attorney in his 30s, dated four teenagers — one only 14 — in Alabama in the 1970s.
Moore’s campaign has described the allegations as a “witch hunt” by the Democratic Party and the liberal media, even using the charges to mount a fundraising campaign.
But McConnell said on Monday, “I believe the women.” Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, the head of campaigns for Senate Republicans, said the chamber should vote to expel Mr. Moore if he won “because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate”.
Alabama’s senior senator, the conservative Republican Richard Shelby, acknowledged, “It’s drip by drip, cut by cut. It doesn’t look good.”
Moore reacted angrily:
— Judge Roy Moore (@MooreSenate) November 13, 2017
McConnell said he is considering the draft of a write-in candidate for the December 12 special election, although leading Alabama Republicans oppose the idea because they think it will hand the seat to Democratic challenger Doug Jones — who was already running close to Moore in polls before the sexual misconduct stories were published.
Privately, White House officials and McConnell are evaluating whether Sessions could run as a write-in candidate or be appointed if Moore wins and is immediately removed from office. McConnell discussed the plan on Monday in a telephone call with Vice President Mike Pence.
Donald Trump, who immediately distanced himself from Strange and praised Moore after the September primary, has been silent on the case.
Breitbart — led by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon — has been almost singularly devoted to the survival of Moore, whom they have promoted as a valiant candidate against not only Democrats but also the GOP “establishment”.
The outlet pledged last weekend to send two of its top “reporters” to Alabama to dig up damaging information on the women who have spoken out about Moore’s behavior towards them.
However, this morning the tone of the attack site has changed, indicated that it may be distancing itself from Moore. Its lead story is on the statement from the Alabama Secretary of State that withdrawal of the Republican Party’s support from Moore would render the candidate’s election null and void.
Breitbart also notes “Senate Republicans condemn Roy Moore”, although — in a swipe at the “establishment” — it maintains that they have been silent about sexual allegations against former President George H.W. Bush.
WikiLeaks’ Pursuit of Donald Trump Jr. for Cooperation
WikiLeaks pursued Donald Trump Jr. from September 2016 for cooperation in his father’s campaign against Hillary Clinton.
On September 20, Julian Assange’s organization wrote Trump Jr. of a site by the Progress for USA Political Action Committee: “A PAC-run anti-Trump site putintrump.org is about to launch,” WikiLeaks wrote. “The PAC is a recycled pro-Iraq war PAC. We have guessed the password. It is ‘putintrump.’ See ‘About’ for who is behind it. Any comments?”
Trump Jr. responded the next morning, “Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around. Thanks.” He e-mailed senior Trump campaign staff Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, and Brad Parscale, and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner that WikiLeaks had made contact.
The long, largely one-sided correspondence continued until at least July 2017. WikiLeaks suggested that it carefully disseminate Donald Trump Sr.’s tax returns, urged the Trump campaign on Election Day — before the result was known — to reject the ballot as rigged, and requested that Trump call on Canberra to make Assange, an Australian citizen, Ambassador to the US.
The messages were turned over by Trump Jr.’s lawyers to congressional investigators.
The US intelligence community believes WikiLeaks served as a conduit for Russia’s dissemination of stolen material damaging to Clinton. In July 2016, on the first day of the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks released e-mails stolen from the Democratic National Committee’s servers. On October 7, less than an hour after the Washington Post released a tape in which Trump Sr. bragged about sexually assaulting women, WikiLeaks released e-mails stolen by hackers from the personal e-mail account of Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta.
According to the documents handed over by Trump Jr.’s lawyers, he stopped responded to WikiLeaks in mid-October 2016, but before then, there were exchanges of mutual interest. On October 3, WikiLeaks said it would be “great” if the Trump campaign could comment on Hillary Clinton reportedly saying she wanted to “just drone” Assange.
“Already did that earlier today,” Trump Jr. responded an hour-and-a-half later. “It’s amazing what she can get away with.”
Two minutes later, Trump Jr. asked, “What’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep reading about?” about a tweet by Roger Stone, an informal advisor to Donald Trump Sr., “Wednesday: @HillaryClinton is done. #WikiLeaks.”
On October 12, WikiLeaks said it was “great” that both Trump Sr. — who proclaimed two days earlier at a rally, “I love WikiLeaks!” — and Trump Jr. had referred to the organization. It pointed Trump Jr. to the link wlsearch.tk, “Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us. There’s many great stories the press are missing and we’re sure some of your follows [sic] will find it.”
The message added, “Btw we just released Podesta Emails Part 4.”
Fifteen minutes later, Donald Trump Sr. tweeted, “Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by WikiLeaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!”
And on October 14, Trump Jr. tweeted out the link: “For those who have the time to read about all the corruption and hypocrisy all the @wikileaks emails are right here: http://wlsearch.tk/.”
On Tuesday, Trump Jr. tried to dismiss any significance in the correspondence.
Here is the entire chain of messages with @wikileaks (with my whopping 3 responses) which one of the congressional committees has chosen to selectively leak. How ironic! 1/3 pic.twitter.com/SiwTqWtykA
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 14, 2017
Justice Department: We Are Considering Special Counsel for Clinton Foundation
The Justice Department says prosecutors were consider whether a special counsel should be appointed to investigate allegations that donations to the Clinton Foundation were tied to a 2010 decision by the Obama Administration to allow a Russian nuclear agency to buy US company Uranium One.
Donald Trump and supporters have said for more than a year that Hillary Clinton acted improperly, without producing any evidence to support the claim — and despite Clinton not being on the commission that unanimously approved the sale.
On November 3, Trump said he was disappointed with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and that longstanding unproven allegations about Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration should be investigated.