Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he has “no reason to doubt” the women who accused Roy Moore of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers and he was in his 30s.
“I have no reason to doubt these young women,” Sessions told lawmakers Tuesday during testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
Four women came forward and said Moore pursued romantic and sexual relations with them when they were between the ages of 14 and 18. Moore was in his 30s at the time.
One woman, Leigh Corfman, said Moore initiated sexual contact with her when she was 14, though they did not have sexual intercourse. The other three women said Moore dated them when they were between the ages of 16 and 18.
A fifth woman, Beverly Young Nelson, said Moore sexually assaulted her when she was 16 years old. Nelson said Monday she was afraid the conservative judge was going to rape her during the encounter, which took place in his car, in 1975.
Sessions said a case against Moore would typically be under the state's jurisdiction, but said the Justice Department evaluates each case to determine whether or not the federal government should investigate.
However, because Moore is running for the Senate seat Sessions held before he was confirmed as attorney general, Sessions said ethics experts within the Justice Department have advised him that given his role of attorney general, he should not be involved in the campaign.