Sen. Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisKoch-backed group launches ad campaign to support four vulnerable GOP senators The Hill’s Campaign Report: It’s primary night in Georgia Tillis unveils new 0,000 ad in North Carolina Senate race MORE (R-N.C.) said Thursday that if Roy Moore is elected to the Senate next week, there should be an ethics investigation into the sexual assault and misconduct allegations against him.
Tillis said on Buzzfeed’s “AM to DM” Twitter morning show that he thinks an investigation should take place before the chamber moves to expel Moore or take other action.
“We need to examine the facts and let those facts lead us where they may,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.) has also called for an immediate ethics investigation if Moore wins the Alabama special election, while National Republican Senate Committee Chairman Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior faces legal scrutiny for keeping controversial acting leaders in office | White House faces suit on order lifting endangered species protections | Lawmakers seek investigation of Park Police after clearing of protesters The Hill’s Campaign Report: Republicans go on attack over calls to ‘defund the police’ MORE (Colo.) has called for his expulsion from the Senate.
Moore faces allegations from nearly 10 women who say he pursued them as teenagers when he was in his 20s and 30s, including multiple women who say he assaulted them.
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Tillis originally called for Moore to withdraw from the race and said Thursday that he still stands by that position, but added that until Moore is under the jurisdiction of the Senate, the decision is in the hands of Alabama voters.
“There’s Supreme Court precedent to say that we really don’t have the authority to deny him being seated,” he said. “But we do have jurisdiction over members, and we use an ethics investigation and then we look at what remedies come from that.”
Tillis also criticized colleagues who have stood by Moore on the basis that he will help advance the GOP agenda.
“Anyone that would say, ‘Yeah, he’s got problems but he’s a Republican vote’ really ought to rethink whether or not they should be in this institution,” he said.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE threw his support behind Moore this week, saying that Alabama can’t have a “liberal person” like Democratic challenger Doug Jones in the Senate.
Following Trump’s endorsement, the Republican National Committee (RNC) reinstated its support of Moore, giving $170,000 to the Alabama Republican Party to help the campaign, after originally distancing itself from the candidate.
Gardner, the chairman of the Senate GOP’s campaign arm, broke with Trump and the RNC on Thursday, saying “we will never” endorse Moore.
Also Thursday, House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanBush, Romney won’t support Trump reelection: NYT Twitter joins Democrats to boost mail-in voting — here’s why Lobbying world MORE (R-Wis.) repeated his calls for Moore to drop out of the campaign, regardless of polls showing a tight race with Jones.
“I think he should have dropped out,” Ryan told reporters at his weekly news conference. “Just because the polling has changed doesn’t change my opinion on that, so I stand by what I said before.”