Top Dem under investigation by House Ethics Committee over alleged violations of STOCK Act

In the interest of ethics and transparency, all members of Congress are beholden to the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge, or STOCK, Act of 2012 and its provisions requiring timely disclosure reports of all securities-related transactions.

One member who appears to have flagrantly and repeatedly violated that law is Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), and it has now been confirmed that his alleged transgressions are being fully investigated by the Democrat-controlled House Ethics Committee, Breitbart reports.

Full review in process

The committee’s investigation of Rep. Malinowski was spurred on by a referral from the independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), per a joint statement released Thursday from the committee’s chair and ranking member, Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Jackie Walorski (R-IN), respectively.

That referral, first received July 23, resulted in a joint decision on Sept. 6 to extend the review into Malinowski’s alleged violations of transaction reporting requirements.

Released along with that statement was an October report from the OCE outlining the findings of its own review of complaints received regarding the congressman’s alleged wrongdoing.

“Rep. Malinowski did not file Periodic Transaction Reports (PTRs) for stock transactions he made between 2019 and 2020,” the report stated. “If Rep. Malinowski failed to properly disclose stocks that he purchased or sold or failed to properly file PTRs for any of the stock transactions he made, then he may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.”

Further review of the matter by the committee was recommended: “Because there is substantial reason to believe that he failed to properly disclose stocks that he purchased or sold or failed to properly file PTRs for any of the stock transactions he made.”

The report went on to cite the various federal statutes, House rules, and the committee’s guidelines on ethics that were applicable in this matter, then detailed or provided examples of some of Malinowski’s purported violations of those guidelines, rules, and statutes.

“Complete disregard”

Business Insider, the first outlet to report on Rep. Malinowski’s alleged violations in March about undisclosed trades made in 2019 and 2020 — with those initial reports included in the OCE’s footnoted citations — noted that the congressman had expressed his “regret” and took “full responsibility” for the “carelessness” he had displayed in terms of abiding by the timely reporting requirements of the STOCK Act.

It is now up to the committee to decide what sort of punishment Malinowski should receive, which could range from absolutely nothing — the most likely outcome — to recommendations to the full House that the congressman is fined, reprimanded, formally censured, or even expelled from Congress.

“The law requiring congressional financial disclosures are extremely important to determine whether members have wrongfully profited from their position, and Rep. Malinowski has shown a repeated and complete disregard for it,” Kendra Arnold of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) told Insider. “No member is above the law, and we hope the Ethics Committee upholds this important law.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) told Breitbart:

Tom Malinowski just can’t stop breaking the law. He’s a corrupt politician who will be held accountable for his crooked behavior by New Jerseyans and now, potentially the House Ethics Committee.

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