A pair of conservative government groups are calling for an investigation into a New Jersey congressman who reportedly banked almost at least $600,000 in stock trades and failed to disclose it.
On Monday, the Campaign Legal Center and Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, or FACT, petitioned the Office of Congressional Ethics to determine whether Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski broke federal law with the transactions.
In a press release, FACT said federal law and House rules required Malinowski to report any deal that was valued at more than $1,000.
“Recent reporting shows that Rep. Malinowski failed to disclose dozens of stock transactions. This involved about 90 stock trades valued between $671,000 and $2.76 million that occurred in 2020,” FACT maintained.
Malinowski’s deals included 24 purchases and sales that happened early in the COVID-19 pandemic, FACT said.
“One stock, in particular, was a medical diagnostic company (Chembio Diagnostics Inc.) that manufactures COVID-19 tests, and others included manufacturers of shelf-stable foods and home exercise equipment,” the group added.
Kendra Arnold, the executive director of FACT, said in a statement, “The law is abundantly clear on what is required of all House Members when it comes to personal financial disclosures. Rep. Malinowski’s failure to report roughly 90 financial transactions is unacceptable.”
“More egregious is that many of the transactions involved COVID-related stocks,” Arnold added. “Rep. Malinowski’s failure to file timely and accurate financial disclosures must be investigated by the OCE and the proper penalties must be assessed.”
In its own letter to the congressional Ethics Office, the Campaign Legal Center added, “When members of Congress trade individual stocks and fail to disclose those trades, they break the law and diminish the public’s trust in government. Rep. Malinowski repeatedly failed to comply with this requirement for over two years. He describes this omission as an oversight even though he is an experienced investor and former political appointee who has been subject to the STOCK Act for over five years.”
The 2012 Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge, or STOCK Act, prohibits federal lawmakers from making securities deals based on information that they learn on the course of their duties but which has yet to become public.
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