The Al Gore sex assault allegation story took a big leap today with the announcement by the Portland Police Bureau that it is reopening the criminal investigation.
Most likely, the former vice president will be asked to submit to an interview by the police. He can refuse, of course; he has a Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer questions, but this option is almost impossible for Gore because of the impact this would have on his reputation.
I speculated the other day that Gore had not denied the charges when they first became a national news story in the belief that any comment by him would keep the story in the news longer. As the reopening of the criminal investigation today means this story isn’t going away anytime soon, and Gore’s spokeswoman commented soon afterward, I think I might have been right about that one.
The spokeswoman’s statement, as reported by the AP in the Washington Post, is curious:
Kalee Kreider, a spokeswoman for Gore, said the former vice president “unequivocally and emphatically” denied making unwanted sexual advances toward the woman and that he welcomed the investigation.
“Further investigation into this matter will only benefit Mr. Gore,” Kreider said.
She also said “the Gores cannot comment on every defamatory, misleading and inaccurate story generated by tabloids.”
I wish the AP had summarized less and quoted more. Did Kreider specifically use the word “unwanted,” or was that word added by the AP? If the the word was included as part of a lawyer-written statement, we may have just been told how Gore plans to defend himself: that nothing happened that was “unwanted,” and thus, there was no controlling legal authority.