In light of the sexual-assault allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore — along with reports that he habitually attempted to date women who were in their teens when he was in his thirties — National Review Online contacted the offices of every Democratic senator (including the two Independents who caucus with the Democrats: Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine) to ask if they would vote to expel Moore from the Senate should he win election in December.
Only a handful of offices bothered to reply, and all but one — that of Oregon senator Ron Wyden — did not directly address whether or not Moore should be expelled by sitting senators upon his election.
“Roy Moore does not belong in the Senate, period,” Wyden told NRO via email. “He has been accused of awful, unacceptable conduct. I cannot imagine the people of Alabama will elect an accused sexual predator, but if they do, he should be expelled.”
Less unequivocal were statements from the offices of the few senators who so much as replied to emails and phone calls requesting comment.
“Senator Cortez Masto is disgusted by the reports out of Alabama on Roy Moore’s alleged history of sexual assault,” read an email statement from Ryan King, deputy communications director for Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada. “He should do the right thing and step aside.” Since the allegations about Moore surfaced, Cortez Masto has sent fundraising emails in her name for the campaign of Doug Jones, Moore’s Democratic opponent in Alabama.
The office of Senator Sherrod Brown said the Ohio Democrat agrees with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell that Moore should step aside, and he does not believe that Moore should serve in the Senate.
Michigan senator Gary Peters’s office replied similarly, saying Peters believes Alabama voters have a clear choice, and if they do not want a senator mired in scandal, they should not vote for Roy Moore.
Sue Walitsky, communications director for Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland, told NRO only: “Senator Cardin supports Doug Jones.”
It is worth asking why Senate Democrats would be so hesitant to say whether or not the allegations against Moore are egregious enough to merit a vote to expel him from the Senate. Perhaps some Democrats would prefer to have Moore in the Senate, in spite of his possible misdeeds, because his presence as a GOP leader makes it easier for the Left to tarnish all Republicans with his unfitness for office.
Editor’s Note: This piece has been updated to include a statement from the office of Michigan senator Gary Peters. This article previously stated that his office had declined to comment on the record.