Montana state auditor and Republican Senate candidate Matt Rosendale said he supports Roy Moore until he is “found guilty of a crime.”
Rosendale’s comments contrast with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the National Senatorial Republican Committee (NRSC). Both McConnell and the NRSC withdrew support and called for Alabama Judge Roy Moore to drop out of the race given allegations of sexual misconduct made against him.
On Friday Roy Moore accuser Beverly Nelson admitted that she forged a portion of the yearbook message that she and attorney Gloria Allred used as proof of Moore’s wrong-doing.
Rosendale serves as the top candidate for the NSRC to challenge incumbent Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT).
The Club for Growth and pro-Trump Great America Alliance, as well as Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT), endorsed Rosendale.
Rosendale argued this week that his commitment to Roy Moore has not changed from the statement he released weeks ago in the wake of the Washington Post’s bombshell article accusing Roy Moore of sexual misconduct.
Rosendale explained, “You are innocent until proven guilty. And if folks have come forward, whether it is judge Roy Moore or whether it is anyone else, and they have evidence to convict someone of a crime, then they should go through the legal process and do so.”
The Montana state treasurer continued, “And I do not believe in holding the court of public opinion, you know, to hold folks out there and destroy their name or reputation before they have had their legal process, their due process accommodated.”
Majority Leader McConnell previously called for Moore to resign given thek sexual misconduct allegations, although he recently suggested that Alabamians should litigate this issue through the ballot box on December 12. McConnell cautioned, however, that this did not signal a “change of heart,” and that should Moore win the Alabama Senate race, he will face a Senate Ethics Committee investigation.
In an interview on Thursday, Rosendale praised Moore’s many decades of public service, saying, “As far as Judge Roy Moore, to me, it looks like the actions that he has taken as his public service, over the last I would guess 20, 30 some odd years, has been honorable and I would commend him for that.”
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