May 2018 Church & State Magazine - May 2018

Roy Moore Allies Allegedly Tried To Bribe Lawyer For Accuser

  Liz Hayes

An attorney representing one of several women accusing former Alabama judge Roy Moore of sexual improprieties revealed to The Washington Post that Moore supporters had allegedly tried to bribe him into casting doubt on the woman’s allegations.

Lawyer Eddie Sexton told The Post that Moore supporters Gary Lantrip and Bert Davi contacted him in November 2017, about a month before the December special election in which Moore was running for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat. Sexton represented Leigh Corfman, one of several women who allege Moore pursued them romantically when they were teenagers and he was in his thirties.

Sexton said Lantrip and Davi, who are partners in a small construction firm and Sexton’s clients in an unrelated court case, offered him $10,000 if he’d dump Corfman as a client, publicly announce he didn’t believe her and help to cast doubt on the allegations.

The Post said Sexton’s claims were supported by recorded phone conversations, text messages and people in whom he had confided at the time.

The bribery attempt “shows how far some of Moore’s most fervent supporters were willing to go to salvage an Alabama campaign that many hoped would propel a nationwide [right-wing] populist movement and solidify [former Breitbart News Chairman Steve] Bannon’s image as a political kingmaker,” The Post wrote. Bannon, a former advisor to President Donald Trump, campaigned heavily for Moore, as did Trump.

The Post reported that Lantrip and Davi acknowledged seeking the statement from Sexton and arranging a meeting between Sexton and two Breitbart reporters, but the two denied doing anything improper.

Moore issued a statement acknowledging that Lantrip and Davi were supporters but denying that his campaign was involved in the effort to bribe Sexton. Bannon did not respond to The Post’s request for comment.

Sexton reported the incident to a federal prosecutor in Alabama; Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Posey told Sexton in a Dec. 5 email that the events Sexton had described did not appear to be a federal crime, according to The Post.

Corfman in January filed a defa­ma­tion lawsuit against Moore. She is not seeking financial compensation beyond legal fees; rather, she seeks a judgment in her favor, an apology from Moore and a ban preventing him from publicly attacking her again.

In response, Moore made a plea for money for his “legal defense fund.” In a statement posted on his campaign Facebook page in March, he said, “My resources have been depleted and I have struggled to make ends meet, but I have not lost my faith in our God, who is our true source of strength and will never leave or forsake us.”

Moore’s statement also decried the “vicious attack from lawyers in Washington D. C. and San Francisco” as well as the “ultra-liberal media,” Democrats and the LGBTQ community.

Last month, Moore countersued Corfman in state court. In a 23-page court filing, Moore accuses Corfman of making “slanderous” and “libelous” statements about him to news outlets, including The Washington Post.

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