Alabama’s GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore failed to disclose a massive amount of earnings to federal ethics officials, new reporting on Thursday revealed.
According to the Daily Beast, Moore claimed he didn’t receive any payments in 2016 “for an article, speech, or appearance,” but it turns out he earned up to $150,000 in speaking fees.
More from the report:
In filings with the Alabama Ethics Commission, Moore, the former chief justice of the state supreme court, listed between $50,000 and $150,000 in honoraria received last year for various speaking engagements. But in a filing with the Senate Ethics Committee two months later, he explicitly denied having received any payments last year “for an article, speech, or appearance.”
Moore’s Senate disclosure filing also stated that neither he or his wife had any outstanding liabilities last year of more than $10,000. But in his Alabama filing, Moore listed between $150,000 and $250,000 in liabilities owed to a credit union or savings and loan (or a credit card issued by one of them) in 2016.
Moore was previously the former chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court, as the report also noted, so he should be “well versed in the law.” That makes his failure to disclose this information even more troubling.
“What is surprising is that these violations are so egregious,” said Campaign Legal Center’s Brendan Fischer, according to the Daily Beast. “This is not some complicated area of law. We are talking about a simple financial disclosure form with clear instructions, which asks for information very similar to what Moore had already reported to Alabama a few months prior.”
As punishment for such the violation, Moore could face tens of thousands of dollars in fines – or even criminal prosecution.
As The Hill reported on Thursday: “Individuals who submit false information to the Senate Ethics Committee could be subject ‘to a civil penalty of not more than $50,000 and to disciplinary action by the Ethics Committee,’ as well as criminal prosecution, according to the committee’s website.”
In the deeply red state of Alabama, it’s hard for any Democrat – in this case, Democratic nominee Doug Jones – to defeat a Republican in a statewide race. But the combination of Roy Moore’s extremist views and his apparent violation of federal law could make it a race to watch.