Anne Arundel Councilman Michael Peroutka listed on re-released letter of support for Roy Moore

Anne Arundel County Councilman Michael Peroutka’s name has been listed on a letter of support re-released after U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore from Alabama was accused of pursuing teenage girls — one as young as 14 — during his time as a district attorney.

Peroutka’s name is listed with 50 other pastors in a letter recycled from the Alabama primary and Moore’s campaign website. He is named as “Dr. Michael Peroutka, Institute on the Constitution.” The institute is Peroutka’s nonprofit that teaches an interpretation of the U.S. Constitution based on his conservative Christian beliefs.

The letter was posted on Facebook on Sunday by Moore’s wife, Kayla Moore. The wording is close to the Aug. 15 primary letter, but her post omits information about the date and primary race.

The letter supporting Moore called him an “immovable rock in the culture wars — a bold defender of the ‘little guy.’ ” It does not mention the allegations against Moore.

The Millersville councilman has been an ardent supporter of Moore, both Republicans. Moore has been accused by five women of pursuing them when they were teenagers ranging in age from 14 to 18. Moore, now 70, was in his 30s at the time.

One of the women has accused Moore of engaging in a sexual encounter when she was 14, which she stopped and requested to be taken home by the then-Alabama prosecutor. Moore complied and the two stopped seeing each other. Four of the women discussed their encounters in a story by The Washington Post. A fifth women came forward and accused Moore of sexually abusing her when she was 16.

While the letter lists Peroutka as a Moore supporter, that’s hardly news. The councilman has consistently declined to publicly discuss his support of Moore in light of the allegations. Peroutka accidentally called a reporter for The Capital. When the reporter identified himself, Peroutka abruptly hung up. His voicemail is now full.

The Maryland Democratic Party has called on Peroutka to rescind his support of Moore. Peroutka was onstage with Moore when he celebrated his primary victory against Luther Strange. Peroutka also has donated $2,500 to Moore’s Senate campaign. He’s also supported Moore’s Foundation for Moral Law with grants from the Elizabeth Streb Peroutka Foundation.

Moore has denied the allegations. In statements and news media reports, the conservative has called The Washington Post story an attack on his candidacy for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat. That seat was vacated by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions when he took his current role within the President Donald Trump administration. Moore is facing Democrat Doug Jones in the special election, slated for a Dec. 12 vote.

Republican leaders initially waffled on their support of Moore. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said if the allegations were true, Moore should step aside. On Monday, McConnell took a firmer stance, telling reporters in Kentucky that he believes the five women and that Moore “should step aside.”

Moore responded to McConnell’s remarks, saying the majority leader himself should step aside.

“The person who should step aside is @SenateMajLdr Mitch McConnell,” Moore’s Twitter account posted on Monday. “He has failed conservatives and must be replaced.”

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan also called on Moore to step aside after saying the allegations against him are “credible.”

Sessions, who appeared before the House Judiciary Committee to discuss the Trump campaign’s contact with Russians, was asked about the Moore allegations.

“I have no reason to doubt these young women,” Sessions said.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, said Moore was “unfit for office.”

The bevy of calls for Moore to step aside will likely fall on deaf ears.

A core part of Moore’s identity has been his pushback against traditional political machinations. As the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Moore refused to obey a court order to remove a Ten Commandants statue from the state’s judicial grounds. That decision led to his removal from office.

Moore rose back up the ranks and was voted back onto the bench in 2012. But controversy struck again when Moore’s strict stance against same-sex marriage led him to order officials to ignore federal rulings overturning same-sex marriage laws. The Southern Poverty Law Center filed an ethics complaint against him. Moore resigned from the court in 2016 to run for the U.S. Senate seat.

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