Sitting Republican Senators have been told to prepare for a closed door conference if Judge Roy Moore prevails in his bid for U.S. Senate, NBC News reported Tuesday, just hours before polls in Alabama’s whirlwind race closed.
JUST IN: Senate Republicans have been told they will meet tomorrow morning as a conference to discuss next steps if Roy Moore wins tonight, multiple sources tell @NBCNEWS. The meeting is currently scheduled for 10am in the Capitol, but timing could shift.
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) December 12, 2017
A later Tweet from NBC reporter Frank Thorpe included a possible meeting outline:
Senate Republicans will meet tomorrow morning to discuss next steps if Roy Moore wins tonight, multiple sources tell @LACaldwellDC and me.
Will need to discuss:
1) Ethics Investigation
2) Whether to include him in GOP policy discussions
3) Whether to seat him on cmtes
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) December 12, 2017
Whatever the exact agenda, however, the unusual step of calling such a meeting strengthens Bannon’s contention that Democrats and establishment Republicans are attempting to “nullify” the revolutionary result of the 2016 presidential election by any means necessary.
Moore secured the GOP nomination and may win a Senate seat Tuesday despite these same pro-nullification forces‘ best efforts and one of the most protracted media campaigns in American political history aimed at his character.
The report comes after nearly a month and a half of GOP establishment figures signalling they are willing to bow to Democrats’ demands and punish Moore over unproven, decades-old allegations, even if the voters of Alabama choose him to represent them in the U.S. Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), for example, refused to rule out voting to expel Moore if he were victorious Tuesday.
Other Republicans have gone even further. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), explicitly called for Moore’s explusion after he engineered an NRSC pullout of the Alabama Senate race soon after the initial allegations against Moore. Arch-Never Trump Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) threatened to quit the NRSC if they reversed Gardner’s decision and jumped back behind Roy Moore after the RNC buried the hatchet and backed Moore in the final days of the campaign.
Unconfirmed reports have even indicated that Tim Miller, a GOP establishment operative and Bush-loyalist, may have instigated the entire cascade of sexual misconduct allegations against Moore.
Following Miller’s lead, lame duck Never Trump Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) endorsed liberal Democrat Doug Jones over Moore. Flake then mailed Jones a low-dollar check to make his “country over party” stand behind with the pro-late term abortion, anti-gun, pro-amnesty, anti-wall Democrat.
Failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney proposed that Moore being allowed in the Senate would be a “a stain on the GOP and the nation.” Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon’s was incensed, ripping into Romney’s sanctimonious attack on a man with a sterling military record at a rally for Moore.
Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), John McCain (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Pat Toomey (R-PA) have all expressed their own opposition to Moore.
If nullification is these anti-Moore Republicans’ goal, their path forward is anything but clear. The United States Supreme Court decided in Powell v. McCormack that states’ chosen senators must be seated unless they fail to satisfy the three constitutional requirements: being 30 years of age, a U.S. citizen for 9 years, and a resident of that state. After seating, however, the Senate could vote to expel a senator by a two-thirds vote.
No senator has been expelled for any reason since 1862, when several southern Democrats were voted out for supporting the Confederacy in the intensifying American Civil War.