Roy Moore's appalling 'yearbook' defense
Posted November 15, 2017 7:36 p.m. EST
(CNN) — Roy Moore faces accusations from five women that he pursued sexual relationships with them -- and in one case engaged in sexual assault -- while they were between 14 and 18 years old and he was in his mid 30s.
His latest defense against these serious charges? The inscription from Beverly Young Nelson's 1977 high school yearbook is a fake!
Moore attorney Phil Jauregui demanded that Nelson, who earlier this week alleged that Moore tried to push her head into his lap in a parked car when she was 16, release the yearbook so tests could be conducted to see if the inscription -- "To a sweeter more beautiful girl, I could not say, 'Merry Christmas'" -- is real or forged.
"We'll find out: is it genuine, or is it a fraud?" Jauregui said, noting that Moore's campaign had hired a handwriting expert to examine the inscription.
So, this is where we are. Moore, facing calls from all sides to step aside for the good of party, is pinning his defense on the idea that -- for some still unknown reason -- Nelson forged his signature on her high school yearbook.
This is, of course, a transparent attempt by Moore to both buy time and muddy the waters.
Even Sean Hannity, the staunchest of conservative talking heads, said on Tuesday night that Moore had 24 hours to produce evidence that these charges were untrue or risk being disowned.
With the walls closing in, Moore is hoping the questions over the validity of the yearbook signature might be enough of a sop to his wavering allies to stave off total collapse.
He is also hoping that by throwing things at the wall -- release the yearbook! -- he gives his supporters a life raft to cling to amid this chaos. The Moore forces are hoping this turns into a well-both-sides-are-saying-lots-of-things conversation as opposed to a why-isn't-Roy-Moore-out-of-this-race-yet discussion.
It might buy Moore a little time. But I don't think the political world is holding its breath to see how the results from Roy Moore's handwriting expert turn out.
Read Wednesday's full edition of The Point.