During Roy Moore’s failed campaign for U.S. Senate, his wife, Kayla, defended him against charges of anti-Semitism by saying, “One of our attorneys is a Jew.” It turns out that the lawyer is a big supporter — of Democrat Doug Jones, who defeated Moore in December to become the next senator from Alabama.
“There could not be a more passionate supporter of Doug than me!” Birmingham, Ala., lawyer Richard Jaffe told the Washington Examiner, a conservative publication, in an interview published today.
Jaffe has indeed worked for the Moores — not in political campaigns, but in defending their son Caleb on drug charges on 2016. Caleb Moore, now 27, has had nine arrests on various charges since 2011, according to AL.com, a website for several Alabama newspapers, including one in October for trespassing.
Jaffe’s political sympathies lie elsewhere. He “walked alongside Jones as he took center stage to deliver his acceptance speech and plans to be in the Senate gallery on Wednesday as Jones is sworn in,” the Examiner reports.
Jones, a former federal prosecutor, won the Senate special election December 12 over Moore, the virulently anti-LGBT former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Jones will fill the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions became U.S. attorney general.
The Forward, a publication oriented toward a Jewish audience, had actually turned up Jaffe last week. Forward reporter Liz Brody did not note Jaffe's support of Jones, but she wrote, “Jaffe is not the schmuck I had imagined the Moores’ Jewish attorney to be. He is not someone with loose ties to the Jewish community. He is not masquerading as a Jew; he is not an apostate. He is not applauding Roy Moore’s dedication to enforcing the Noahide Laws and then some across the land. He is not going to churches to endorse Moore. He is not helping Moore wedge his way into the Senate despite his defeat, which Moore has refused to accept.”
Also, Brody wrote, “Jaffe has made a career of giving publicly despised individuals a chance to be judged with fairness.” Among his past clients is Eric Rudolph, who pleaded guilty in 2005 the 1996 bombing at the Olympics in Atlanta, in addition to the bombings of a gay bar and two abortion clinics. Jaffe eventually withdrew from Rudolph's defense, although he did not say if Rudolph's antigay, anti-Semitic idelogy was the reason.
Kayla Moore mentioned the attorney at a rally the night before the special election to defend her husband against charges that he is not only anti-LGBT but anti-Semitic. Roy Moore had earlier made a remark implying that hedge fund billionaire George Soros, who donates to liberal causes and happens to be Jewish, was going to hell.
“He’s still going to the same place that people who don’t recognize God and morality and accept his salvation are going,” Roy Moore said of Soros in a December radio interview. “And that’s not a good place.” The Moores are fundamentalist Christians, and indeed, many of their faith believe that all non-Christians are eternally damned.
But at the rally, Kayla Moore said, “Fake news will tell you that we don’t care for Jews. I tell you all this because I’ve seen it also I just want to set the record straight while they’re here. One of our attorneys is a Jew!” She also referred to the couple’s friendships with other Jews, including rabbis (one rabbi, drawn from Orthodox Judaism, the most conservative branch of the faith, appeared at a campaign event to say Roy Moore would fight the “LGBT/transgender mafia”) and with African-Americans.
In the end, it was the African-American vote, particularly from women, that gave Jones his margin of victory in the election, after a campaign marked by allegations that Roy Moore had sexually abused women who were in their teens while he was in his 30s. Moore denied all the charges. He also claimed the election was tainted by widespread voter fraud and refused to concede defeat to Jones even after Alabama state officials certified the results last week. But it’s Jones who’ll be sworn in Wednesday.