Sen. Tom Tillis (R-NC) called for a Senate Ethics Committee Investigation of Alabama Judge Roy Moore should he beat Democrat Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate race.
“I think we have to first move with an ethics investigation,” Sen. Tillis said on BuzzFeed News’s show, AM to DM. “We need to examine the facts and let those facts lead us where they may.”
Tillis was one of the many establishment Republicans to call for Moore to drop out of the Alabama Senate race, although he did not call for an ethics investigation until now.
The North Carolina senator explained, “There’s Supreme Court precedent to say that we really don’t have the authority to deny him being seated. But we do have jurisdiction over members, and we use an ethics investigation and see what remedies come out of that.”
Tillis argued that he believes the allegations against Roy Moore. On Friday, Roy Moore accuser Beverly Nelson admitted she forged the yearbook that she and attorney Gloria Allred have used to prove the accusations of sexual misconduct against Moore.
Sen. Tillis then said that, unlike Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), he will not donate $100 to Roy Moore’s Democratic competitor Doug Jones.
“I’m going to stay out of a race that I don’t have a vote in,” Tillis contended. “And then as a member of a body that Mr. Moore might be admitted to, I’m going to try to get the facts to the point where we can take appropriate action.”
Tillis added, “We have to wait until after the election. … Until he wins, he’s not under the jurisdiction of the Senate.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) revealed at a press conference on Tuesday that his declaration that the people of Alabama should decide regarding Moore’s allegations does not signal a “change of heart.”
McConnell said, “There has been no change of heart. I had hoped earlier he would withdraw as a candidate. That obviously is not going to happen. If he were to be elected, he will immediately have an ethics committee case. And the committee would look at the situation and give us advice.”
The majority leader continued:
I made my position perfectly clear. Let me say it again. I had hoped that Judge Moore would resign, in other words, withdraw from the race. That obviously is not going to happen. If he were to be elected, I think he will immediately have an issue with ethics committee that they would take up.
BuzzFeed News questioned Tillis, before Sen. Al Franken’s (D-MN) resignation announcement on Thursday, about the sexual assault allegations against the Minnesota lawmaker.
Tillis said that he should remain “intellectually honest and consistent” and not take a partisan approach to Franken’s allegations. The North Carolina senator also argued that he supports a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into Franken’s accusations.
Tillis concluded, “Similar to Mr. Moore, I do think there’s a lot of legitimacy to these allegations.”