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Republican Senators Romney and Ernst demand a probe into E. Jean Carroll’s Trump sex assault claim

Republican Senators Romney and Ernst demand a probe into E. Jean Carroll’s Trump sex assault claim

The President of the United States was recently accused of sexual assault once again, and somehow it barely made a ripple in our national discourse. It’s as if our country is so accustomed to the idea that Donald Trump is and always has been a sexual predator that new accusations, no matter how heinous, are unable to register as so much as a blip on our radar. Those who support him either delusionally refuse to believe the credible accounts or simply don’t care, and many of us who oppose him and do believe the allegations feel helpless to do anything about them.

Elle magazine writer E. Jean Caroll says that Trump sexually assaulted her in the 1990s in Bergdorf Goodman dressing room. While she doesn’t use the term, her description fits the FBI’s definition of rape. Rather than deny the claim by insisting that he is not a rapist, the president instead gave the stunning and disgusting defense that she’s “not his type.” Today, two women came forward to reveal that Caroll told them about the assault in the wake of the attack, adding contemporaneous testimony to the allegation. Given what we know about this president and his brags about sexual assault on the past, Carroll’s accusation carries an incredible amount of weight.

Unfortunately, the deeply corrupt GOP — home to truly evil men and crass opportunists — is widely content to ignore Trump’s predatory proclivities. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), one of the president’s most sycophantic lapdogs, said that Trump “denied it, and that’s all I needed to hear,” as if Trump doesn’t have an incredibly long record of lying about everything under the sun, including some two dozen other sexual assault and harassment accusations.

Luckily, there appears to be at least a thin sliver of — if not courage — then at least moral fiber left in two Republicans. CNN reports that Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Joni Ernst (IA) are calling for Caroll’s accusation to be investigated to discern whether it’s true or not.

The senator from Utah said he believes an “evaluation” is necessary but conceded that he’s unsure whether Congress or another government apparatus should be in charge of running it.

“It’s a very serious allegation. I hope that it is fully evaluated. The president said it didn’t happen and I certainly hope that’s the case,” said Romney, admittedly giving the serially mendacious Trump a little too much benefit of the doubt.

Ernst had similar thoughts.

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“I think anybody that makes an accusation like that, they should come forward. But obviously, there has to be some additional information. They need to interview her. They need to visit with him,” said Ernst.

Both senators are indeed correct, even if their words are perhaps more tepid than they should be. There is absolutely no reason why Caroll’s story shouldn’t be investigated. We almost certainly have a rapist in the Oval Office, and if we choose to ignore that we undermine the very moral foundations of our democracy. He cannot be allowed to exist above the law and he must be held accountable for every last one of his crimes.

Original reporting by Ted Barrett for CNN.

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