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Mitch McConnell really doesn’t want Roy Moore to be a Senator. He tenaciously opposed him in the primaries. Wild rumors have been floated that it was McConnell’s super PAC’s oppo research that led to the Washington Post article in a botched attempt to bump Moore out of the primaries. If this is the case, unlikely as it may be, then he was double crossed. WaPo waited to use the story until after Moore secured the nomination.
Regardless of how involved McConnell was in the hit piece, he’s not holding back shots anymore. The Senate Majority Leader declared that if Moore wins the December 12 special election in Alabama, the Senate would launch an immediate ethics probe. Such an investigation could force Moore to testify under oath and would likely be the precursor to an expulsion attempt. Under Article 1, Section 5 of the Constitution, a two-thirds vote is required within the Senate to expel a member.
“It would be a rather unusual beginning,” McConnell told The Wall Street Journal at a CEO Council event on Tuesday. “I’d like to save the seat, and it’s a heck of a dilemma when you’ve got a completely unacceptable candidate bearing the label of your party within a month of the election.”
McConnell’s play may have a beneficial ulterior motive for the GOP. If Moore wins, the seat is safely in the Republicans’ hands if Moore is expelled or forced to resign with Republican Alabama Governor Ivey as the person to pick his replacement. McConnell has even floated plugging in Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a write-in candidate. While any write-in candidate, even someone as popular in Alabama as Sessions, would have virtually no chance of winning if Moore stays in the race, it would make the “Sessions Gambit” more plausible with McConnell moving chess pieces around now.
The Senate last expelled a member in 1862. McConnell oversaw the Senate’s ethics panel when then-Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.) resigned in 1995 amid sexual harassment allegations and under the threat of expulsion.
Senate Republicans are increasing their pressure for Moore to step down from the Alabama Senate race after a bombshell report in The Washington Post, in which a woman accused Moore of making sexual advances toward her when she was 14 and he was 32. On Monday, a fifth woman came forward, saying he sexually assaulted her when she was 16.
Adding fuel to this scenario is the White House who seems to already be planning out this gambit. According to the NY Times, two White House sources have floated the idea of replacing Moore with Jeff Sessions. It would kill two birds with one stone for the White House. First, the President has expressed varying degrees of unhappiness with his Attorney General, so moving him back where he came from could end the President’s problem without causing a stir. Second, such a scenario of replacing Moore would be viewed negatively by many who voted for him, particularly if either Luther Strange or Mo Brooks, Moore’s main competitors in the primary, was appointed. Sessions is extremely popular in Alabama, so if he’s the replacement, the repercussions from voters would be minimized.
McConnell made the comments to the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council while talking about who could mount a successful write-in campaign, like Sen. Lisa Murkowski did in Alaska in 2010. McConnell said she was popular in the state and was universally well-known, qualities that Sessions has in Alabama.
“The name being most often discussed may not be available, but the Alabamian who would fit that standard would be the attorney general,” McConnell said. “He’s totally well-known and is extremely popular in Alabama.”
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They’re Trying to Shut Us Down
Over the last several months, I’ve lost count of how many times the powers-that-be have tried to shut us down. They’ve sent hackers at us, forcing us to take extreme measures on web security. They sent attorneys after us, but thankfully we’re not easily intimidated by baseless accusations or threats. They’ve even gone so far as to make physical threats. Those can actually be a bit worrisome but Remington has me covered.
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