Top Congressman Under Investigation Over Stock Trades

( )- On Tuesday, the House Ethics Committee finally acknowledged that they are reviewing accusations that Representative Tom Malinowski violated both federal law and ethics rules.

Malinowski, a Democrat from New Jersey in one of the more vulnerable midterm districts for the House, had two ethics complaints filed against him earlier in 2021. Those complaints filed a Business Insider report that said he didn’t disclose various stock transactions that were valued at more than $671,000.

If those accusations are true, it would be in violation of a federal law that is in place to prevent congressmembers from insider trading.

Following that report, The Associated Press published an article saying the congressman traded up to $1 million in stock that was held in tech and medical companies that had a stake in how the COVID-19 pandemic was handled.

Malinowski hasn’t denied that he didn’t disclose these trades properly. He told the AP it was “a mistake that I own 100%.” Since then, he placed all his assets into a blind trust.

The Ethics committee is reviewing a report that was created by the Office of Congressional Ethics. They haven’t yet opened a formal investigation. That committee is the only panel that could punish a lawmaker formally if they are found to have violated a law.

In a statement, Malinowki’s office commented:

“Representative Malinowski continues to participate in this routine process in good faith, and remains committed to complete transparency with the public; going beyond the requirements for Members of Congress by placing his holdings in an Ethics Committee approved qualified blind trust.”

Malinowski has been serving in the House since 2019. However, he barely won re-election to his seat by just a little more than 1 point last year.

The Committee also said on Tuesday that it would review three other lawmakers for potential misconduct. All three are Republicans — Alex Mooney of West Virginia, Jim Hagedorn of Minnesota and Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania.

Mooney is accused of spending thousands of campaign dollars on his own personal expenses. This includes family trips to resorts in West Virginia and meals. He’s also accused of not reporting more than $40,000 in expenses properly.

After the OCE initiated its inquiry, Mooney decided to repay his campaign more than $12,000.

Hagedorn is accused of using a campaign office rent-free that was provided by one of his political donors. Other organizations have reported that Hagedorn paid more than $100,000 of funds from taxpayers to a printing company in Texas that is owned by a member of his staff.

Kelly is being accused of trying to influence the Trump administration to investigate steel imports by foreign companies that were threatening a steel plant in the district he represented. It’s also alleged that Kelly’s wife purchased between $15,000 and $50,000 worth of stock in that steel plant in his district.

In a joint statement about all of the reviews, the top Republican and Democrat on the House Ethics Committee, Jackie Walorski and Ted Deutch, said:

“The committee notes that the mere fact of a referral or an extension, and the mandatory disclosure of such an extension and the name of the subject of the matter, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the committee.”