We already knew Roy Moore, who recently beat Donald Trump’s pick in the Republican primary for a Senate seat from Alabama, was a fundamentalist Christian backed by Steve Bannon. Well, now we know he covered up a massive salary from a charity, too.
Moore has publicly stated that he never took a “regular salary” from the Foundation for Moral Law, the charity that he founded to promote Christian values, but the Washington Post reports that he accepted $180,000 per year for his part-time work. He was also given a $540,000 mortgage on the charity’s building… even when the group couldn’t afford to pay his salary.
He collected more than $1 million as president from 2007 to 2012, compensation that far surpassed what the group disclosed in its public tax filings most of those years…
A Washington Post review of public and internal charity documents found that errors and gaps in the group’s federal tax filings obscured until now the compensation paid to Moore, whose defeat last month of President Trump’s choice for Republican nominee in the Senate race will likely embolden far-right challengers to the party’s mainstream incumbents.
Moore’s group was focused on filing legal briefs on “conservative Christian issues,” like keeping religious monuments on government property.
At a time when Moore was running for other public offices in Alabama, the charity kept him in the public eye and helped establish a nationwide network of donors while he took on controversial positions against same-sex marriage, Islam and the separation of church and state. Over the years, it has provided him with health-care benefits, travel expenses and a bodyguard, documents show.
In fact, the “charity” itself began as a legal defense fund for Moore himself and the government rejected its charitable status. According to the Washington Post report, the group changed its name and became a legal non-profit despite never having stopped acting in the interests of Moore, causing it to violate IRS laws in the process.
An Internal Revenue Service audit of the Foundation for Moral Law’s 2013 finances, provided by the charity, concluded that it left out information about fundraising and other activities on its public tax filings and also identified discrepancies between those filings and its internal books. The IRS wrote that the issues “could jeopardize your exempt status.”
Seven charity and tax law specialists consulted by The Post said the nonprofit’s activities raised questions about compliance with IRS rules, including prohibitions on the use of a charity for the private benefit or enrichment of an individual.
It’s pretty clear that Moore’s organization broke federal law (something that must run in the family), and that he lied to cover it up.
The only question now is whether it will matter to voters.