Two ethics watchdogs filed complaints Monday with the Office of Congressional Ethics Monday to investigate allegations that Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) failed to disclose dozens of stock trades worth at least $671,000.
The Campaign Legal Center and Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) urged the congressional ethics agency to investigate the New Jersey Democrat over the congressman’s failure to disclose a significant number of stocks.
Malinowski’s office said last week that the failure to disclose the over-half million dollars in stocks was an “oversight” that the congressman is now fixing.
The federal STOCK Act requires lawmakers to publicly reveal their personal stock sales and purchases within 30 to 45 days of the transaction. Malinowski may have violated this law by failing to make these disclosures.
The Campaign Legal Center wrote to the congressional ethics agency:
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.
FACT executive director Kendra Arnold said that Malinowski’s conduct “is especially damaging to citizens’ confidence in elected officials.”
“It appears Malinowski was secretly trading stocks related to a national crisis, which prevented the public from evaluating whether his transactions were based upon information he obtained from his official position,” she added.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, Malinowski, on March 19, sold up to $15,000 of stock in Chembio Diagnostics, an infectious-disease testing company that offered coronavirus testing supplies.
National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokesperson Samantha Bullock said in a statement on Monday that Malinowski broke the law to make money off of the coronavirus.
“It’s bad enough Malinowski broke federal law by failing to report these transactions, but even worse is the fact that he may have done it to hide trades that allowed him to profit off a pandemic while his constituents suffered,” she said.