Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he has “no reason to doubt” women who have accused Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct when they were minors.

Sessions made the comment under questioning Tuesday by Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. Moore is running for the seat Sessions held until his confirmation earlier this year. But Sessions declined to say whether he thinks Moore should drop out of the race.

Women have accused Moore of groping them when they were teenagers decades ago.

Sessions says that would normally be a case for state prosecutors. But he also says the Justice Department will “evaluate every case as to whether it would be investigated.”

Some Republicans have floated the idea of abandoning Moore and rallying around a write-in candidate, perhaps Sessions, who remains popular in Alabama.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore “should step aside.” Ryan says allegations against Moore “are credible.”

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Ryan joined the growing chorus of Washington Republicans calling on Moore to quit the race after two women stepped forward describing how Moore groped them when they teenagers decades ago. Moore has called the reports false.

Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have been struggling to find a way to force Moore out. His name remains on the ballot for the Dec. 12 special election against Doug Jones.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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