Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate candidate accused of seeking and initiating in relationships with teens as well as committing sexual assault, is borrowing a tactic from the late 2016 Trump playbook.
Moore has decided to seek proof that the allegations are false, which is not something new, but he is now hinting heavily that he is exploring legal action against his accusers, something then-candidate Donald Trump threatened against the women who claimed he groped/grabbed/sexually assaulted them in years past.
Moore has previously threatened to sue The Washington Post, which first reported the allegations against him, and Alabama Media Group, which publishes The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times and the Press-Register of Mobile.
In the interview Tuesday night, he disclosed that he and his advisers were gathering evidence for possible legal action against at least one of his female accusers, as well.
Asked by Beason, “Do you plan to pursue any legal action with defamation against any of these people — Washington Post or anybody?” Moore responded: “We are. We’re talking about The Washington Post. We’re talking about the women involved.”
Moore wouldn’t address the specifics of any potential litigation, saying, “That’s for investigators.” But he said: “There are things coming out in the future which I can’t talk about.”
“We’re getting proof,” he said. “We’ll continue to do that.”
Let’s be honest here: This threat is a form of victim shaming. It is not a good look for someone accused of what Moore is accused of.
His defenders will ask “How else is he supposed to defend himself?” There are ways, but making legal threats against women is not the right way to go about this. It hurts his credibility, and it’s going to be hard to prove they intended to do any real harm with their accusations, even if it comes out that one or more of the accusers is lying.
The idea behind threatening to sue is to force the women to drop their complaints for fear of having to go to court or to drag them through the media circus of a trial. These are women who waited decades to come out because they were afraid of the man’s power. Do you think they want that much media scrutiny in their lives?
Even with a sympathetic media, which they will get, many of these women are not going to want to have cameras in their faces for months as any sort of trial plays out. They’d give in and want to maintain their privacy.
That is, of course, assuming Moore is being honest. But he isn’t.
It’s a bluff meant to scare the women into folding, while also maintaining his Tough Fighter Guy appearance to his dedicated followers. There is no real case to be had and his campaign knows that. But that doesn’t mean that Roy Moore, Swamp Fighter, is going to pass up the opportunity to be a fighter.
It’s a sick display. Alabama deserves better and it’s sad that the only real alternative right now is a progressive, pro-abortion Democrat who is not even remotely representative of his state.