One of President Donald Trump’s new picks to serve on the Federal Reserve Board, Trumponomics author Stephen Moore, was found to be in contempt of court in 2012 for failing to pay more than $300,000 in alimony and child support.
Court filings recently unearthed by The Guardian’s Jon Swain and David Smith show Moore repeatedly failed to make payments that were part of a 2011 divorce settlement with his ex-wife, Allison Moore. Not only was Moore found in contempt of court, but his failure to comply with the terms of his settlement even prompted a judge to order the sale of his house to satisfy his debts.
According to court records, several police officers accompanied relators and a locksmith to to Moore’s home in May 2013 to change the locks and prepare the property for buyers. Only after the court-sanctioned break-in did Moore pay roughly two-thirds of what he owed his ex-wife, court filings show. Allison Moore told the court the $217,000 payment was enough, and stepped in to halt the house re-sale.
Moore is one of two controversial presidential picks to fill open seats on the Federal Reserve Board (Trump’s other nominee is former Republican presidential candidate and pizza company executive, Herman Cain). An avowed Trump loyalist, Moore is a senior fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation who frequently provides economic commentary to media outlets.
Allison Moore tried last week to shield the court documents from public view under a court seal, but several news outlets appealed to have them released. In a statement released this week, Moore said he and his former wife settled their divorce “amicably many years ago and we remain on friendly terms to this day.”
Moore’s nomination process isn’t going so smoothly
It’s only been a little over two weeks since Trump first nominated Moore to the Federal Reserve Board, and already he’s seen several waves of unflattering headlines.
Last week The Guardian broke news on Moore’s financial woes, finding that he still owes more than $75,000 in taxes and penalties to the Internal Revenue Service. The tax lien reportedly stems from a mistake in his 2014 tax filing. Moore said he has been working to resolve the issue with the IRS, in part by overpaying his taxes in recent years by “tens of thousands of dollars.”
The unflattering news coverage has cast a shadow over Moore’s nomination, which some believe was an impulsive decision by Trump that gave little thought to Moore’s qualifications. As Vox’s Aaron Rupar explained last month, “Moore is better-known for his fierce loyalty to Trump than for his brilliant economic intellect.” Rupar has a rundown of the pundits more infamous moments:
Moore, who was a CNN contributor from 2017 until news broke of his nomination by Trump, didn’t just go on TV to talk about economics. He also defended now-failed US Senate candidate Roy Moore when he was accused of molesting a teenage girl, arguing that the Democrat running against him (now-Sen. Doug Jones) was just as bad because he supported abortion rights.
Moore also went viral for a cringeworthy interview on Don Lemon’s CNN show, in which he tried to slut-shame Stormy Daniels. In addition, he is a climate change denier who once said on CNN that scientists lie about climate science to get “really, really, really rich.”
It’s still unclear whether Moore’s history, controversial views and rocky vetting process will do anything to derail his nomination. Asked by CNBC whether he felt his divorce settlement would jeopardize his chances of claiming a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, Moore had a one-word answer: “No.”