Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), who campaigned on “reforms to limit the role of money in politics,” failed to publicly disclose dozens of personal stock trades in possible violation of the federal STOCK Act, according to a report.
Malinowski’s stock trades in 2020 included more than two dozen purchases and sales during the first several weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, cited in a five-page spreadsheet Malinowski’s office disclosed on Wednesday after a reporter asked about his stock activity.
The spreadsheet contains stock trade information that does not appear publicly on the House’s website, as required by law.
The spreadsheet notes that Malinowski made at least $671,000 and as much as $2.76 million worth of trades during 2020. Members of Congress must report the value of their stock assets only in broad ranges, which makes a precise total elusive.
“Filing these disclosures late was an oversight that he is taking steps to correct,” Colston Reid, Malinowski’s chief of staff, said.
“This was not an effort on the part of the congressman to conceal any trade activities,” Malinowski’s spokesperson, Amanda Osbourne, added, separately. The congressman did not make his own trades but instead “has a financial advisor that makes trading decisions on his behalf without his regular input.”
Peter Schweizer, author of Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite, and whose first book was instrumental in the creation of the STOCK Act, said, “This is only further proof that we cannot trust members of the political class to police themselves on insider trading.”
Reaction to the news was ablaze on Twitter, with calls for congressional members to be banned from trading stocks while in office.
Ban members of Congress from trading stocks. https://t.co/CHaq5ppr8g
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) March 5, 2021
It’s time to ban all Members of Congress from trading stocks in individual companies affected by their official duties.https://t.co/W0wYKC9qe0
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) March 5, 2021
Malinowski made about 90 financial trades in total, most of which were individual stocks, according to trade records his office disclosed.
The congressman was mostly a buyer as the stock market tanked in March 2020 — 15 of the 22 trades the congressman said he made that month were purchases.
Federal records indicated that Malinowski also made dozens of other stock trades during 2019 but failed to publicly disclose them within the legally required 30- to 45-day disclosure window — or ever file periodic transaction reports for them.
Malinowski disclosed these 2019 stock trades in August as part of an annual personal financial-disclosure report that all members of Congress must file.
Malinowski campaigned in 2019 on “reforms to limit the role of money in politics and increase transparency to ensure regular people — not corporations or special interests — have the strongest voices in Washington.”
Since he entered Congress in 2019, Malinowski has sponsored several bills regarding financial transparency and political money. The bills include Scam PACs, shareholder authorization before making certain political expenditures, and the creation of a public database to make transportation funding more transparent.
Malinowski isn’t the only Democrat caught in a stock trade snafu: Several members of Congress or their immediate family members have in recent years made personal investments that range from curious to scandalous.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) husband, the businessman Paul Pelosi, in December poured up to $1 million into call options for stock of the electric vehicle company Tesla. Nancy Pelosi has previously touted electric vehicles and environmentally friendly transportation options.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) failed to disclose stock trades ahead of the coronavirus-related market collapse.
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), an outspoken environmentalist, invested in a power company that primarily uses coal and natural gas.
Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) purchased cannabis industry stock while advocating for legislation that could increase its value, Judd Legum of Popular Information reported.