U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, who sits on a committee seeking Donald Trump’s tax returns, is confident the Dem-dominated House will impeach the president.
“Are people like my senator, (GOP) Sen. Ron Johnson, going to vote to stand up this democracy or are they going to vote to protect Donald Trump when it comes time to remove him?” the Milwaukee Dem told an Oct. 23 WisPolitics.com DC breakfast, referring to the Senate trial that would follow impeachment. “Because we are going to impeach him. I can assure you of that.”
Moore said Trump has conducted a large number of impeachable offenses. She said had the president not dropped his plans to host the G7 Summit at his own golf resort in Florida, “That would’ve been impeachment article number 50.”
The Milwaukee Dem said her impeachment role and the role of the House Ways and Means Committee, on which she sits, is to obtain and investigate the tax returns of the president.
Trump has so far been unwilling to relinquish his returns. But she said statutes say “the president shall provide” tax returns to Congress upon request. And since Trump has challenged any efforts to obtain them in court, Moore quipped: “When they started fighting, I’m ashamed to say I looked up the word ‘shall.’”
Section 6103 of the federal tax code states the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee may request the Internal Revenue Service to send over the tax returns of any individual.The provision directs to the Treasury secretary to comply with the request, and the committee must keep the contents of the returns confidential.
Moore said it will ultimately be up to the courts’ interpretation of the word “shall” on whether or not the committee gets to see Trump’s tax returns.
“There are criminal elements that really I think prevent the president from being upfront [with his tax returns],” Moore said. “He’s gonna fight that until we actually go and send some sort of law enforcement in there to get the tax returns.”
Moore also said she has recommended the national party invest much more heavily in getting out voters in Milwaukee for the 2020 general election.
“Black people need to be asked to vote,” Moore said. “You have to treat them like you respect them, and I think now that’s what’s happening.”
She said she “was caught flat-footed” in the 2016 presidential election, because the party didn’t put as much effort in the city as she assumed it would.
Then-GOP candidate Trump beat Dem Hillary Clinton in Wisconsin by 22,748 votes. Along with Clinton’s 2016 performance dropping off in rural areas compared to past Dems, she received 39,260 fewer votes in Milwaukee County than to Barack Obama in 2012.
Moore said she had a door-to-door strategy to bring out Milwaukee voters in 2016, but she didn’t have the finances to pull it off.
“All it costs is a little money and some effort,” Moore said. “And I’m telling you there is nothing more inspiring to voters than for their neighbors to knock on the door and say ‘Come out and vote.’”
Joe Solmonese, chief executive officer of the 2020 Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, joined Moore in saying the DNC plans to invest heavily in the state this round.
Solmonese said Dems’ messaging will be targeted in a way that could help pick up contentious seats in the state Legislature. He said local lawmakers told him the 2020 election in Wisconsin will also be about control of the Legislature and not solely about the president, and that national Dems’ efforts must reflect this.
He said he doesn’t know exactly how many people the party will put in each district when organizing for 2020. But he said the DNC is working with state politicians and activists to invest where resources can make the biggest impact.
“We take as our guiding principle the needs that are going to be there after we leave in July,” Solmonese said.
Listen to the DC breakfast: