Government ethics and transparency laws require members of Congress to make timely reports documenting certain investment and stock transactions, whether those transactions were conducted by themselves, a family member, or even a third party on their behalf.
Yet, it appears that the fourth-ranked Democrat in the House, Assistant Speaker Katherine Clark (D-MA), who is poised to be Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) successor, was revealed to have recently violated those legal requirements, Breitbart reported.
Rep. Clark failed to properly disclose a number of transactions said to have been made on behalf of her husband by their financial advisers more than two months ago, with that failure likely being in violation of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 and STOCK Act of 2012.
Disclosures not made
Those laws require that all financial disclosures for the vast majority of transactions valued above $1,000 are properly reported within 30 days but no more than 45 after the date the transactions occurred.
However, a Periodic Transaction Report (PTR) from Clark dated Aug. 13 that contained 41 separate transactions revealed that 19 of those transactions had occurred on June 4, well more than the 30-45 days allotted for filing the required disclosures.
All of those late-reported transactions from June were in the range of $1,001 to $15,000, for a combined total value of $19,019 to $285,000.
Rep. Clark’s failure to disclose those transactions within the allotted time frame was first reported by Business Insider, which also shared the excuses for the oversight put forward by the congresswoman’s spokesperson, Kathryn Alexander.
Alexander claimed that Clark “makes every effort to comply with disclosure requirements” and that the June transactions were reported as soon as she “became aware of them.”
The spokeswoman also seemed to cast blame for the failure on Clark’s financial advisers — who the congresswoman was said to have reminded of the importance of the disclosure deadlines — and that Clark was actually supportive of legislative proposals to further strengthen transaction disclosure requirements for members of Congress.
Not her first violation
All of that may well be true, but we can be forgiven for remaining skeptical in light of the fact that this isn’t the only such recent disclosure failure by Speaker Pelosi’s understudy, as Forbes reported less than two weeks ago that Clark had only just then disclosed a couple of transactions that had taken place in January.
According to a PTR filed by Clark on Aug. 4, two sales were made of shares of the private investment firm Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb back to that company on Jan. 31 worth a combined value between $101,002 and $250,000.
The congresswoman’s spokesperson told Forbes in a statement that “Assistant Speaker Clark notified the Ethics Committee immediately upon learning of this transaction” but declined to provide any explanation for why it had taken more than six months to learn of and address that particular reporting failure.