Vulnerable Democrat Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) appears to have violated a federal conflict-of-interest law, known as the STOCK Act of 2012, by waiting almost a year to disclose a stock trade, according to Business Insider.
Business Insider reported that Gonzalez sold between $1,000 and $15,000 in stock of Freeport-McMoRan on July 24, 2021, but waited to report it until June 27 of this year, according to his most recent filed congressional financial disclosure.
This gives the appearance that he violated the STOCK Act.
Like every lawmaker, the congressman must submit a periodic transaction report with the clerk in the House of Representatives within 30 to 45 days of stock transactions over $1,000 made on behalf of themselves or their spouses under the STOCK Act.
Freeport-McMoRan is a Phoenix-based mining company that operates seven open-pit copper mines in the United States and has other mining operations in Chile, Peru, and Indonesia, its website stated.
Interestingly, in recent months, Gonzalez has made mining an issue he’s appeared to be working on as a lawmaker.
In April, he introduced the “Rare Act,” which aimed to develop “a reliable domestic supply of critical minerals, rare earth elements and to uncouple our supply lines and dependence on China for national security manufacturing raw materials.”
In May, months after he sold his stock and months before he filed his most recent financial disclosure, he introduced legislation banning uranium imports from Russia.
“The U.S. has the resources and capacity to produce uranium here at home and should no longer rely on foreign dictators,” Gonzalez stated in a press release. “I urge our colleagues to support this legislation, stand in solidarity with Ukraine and unleash American energy!”
“Texans are struggling to get by, but Vicente Gonzalez sure isn’t as he pockets big checks, breaks federal conflict of interest laws, and tries to hide it from voters,” Congressional Leadership Fund Press Secretary Cally Perkins hammered in a statement. “Vicente is only ever looking out for himself, but Texans deserve a Congressman that will put them first.”
In 2012, Congress quickly passed the STOCK Act and signed it into law. It received substantial bipartisan support in both chambers. The legislation was introduced and promptly signed into law thanks to Breitbart News senior contributor Peter Schweizer, who in 2011 released Throw Them All Out, exposing corruption in the highest echelons of elected life.
Schweizer’s book, which exposed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and many others, revealed corruption concerns among Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, forcing Congress into adopting the STOCK Act that implemented stricter reporting and ethics requirements.
Additionally, Breitbart News exclusively reported in March 2021 that the congressman provided disclosure statements for 2017, 2018, and 2019 on holdings with the Bank of China — which fully acknowledges itself as a “wholly state-owned commercial bank” and has been since the mid-1990s — between $100,001 and $250,000. It also revealed that he was getting interest from the bank totaling between $2,501 and $5,000 each year.
Nonetheless, not only did the money with the Bank of China raise questions, but the amount of interest the congressman was receiving at the time did as well. Gonzalez reportedly had between $250,001 and $500,000 in at least two other banks, in which he received no interest in one and collected only between $201 and $1,000 in interest in the other.
At the time, Gonzalez refused to do any interview with Breitbart News after multiple requests, nor with his local news stations — which raised many questions about the congressman from his constituents.
However, after the reports of the congressman having money in the “state-owned commercial bank” of China, Gonzalez closed his accounts. News 4 San Antonio reported, “[Gonzalez’s] press secretary, Jason Johnson, told News 4 San Antonio that the Bank of China is insured and operating under U.S. laws. Johnson also told the News 4 San Antonio, the congressman has closed that account.”