Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) allegedly failed to disclose her husband’s ownership of more than $100,000 worth of Facebook stock before Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress.
A new report claims that Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein failed to disclose her husband’s $100,000 worth of Facebook stock before Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress in April. Feinstein failed to reveal that her husband, wealthy investment banker Richard Blum, owns between $100,000 and $250,000 worth of Facebook stock before the social media company’s CEO testified before Feinstein and other Senators as part of the Mark Zuckerberg’s April 10 testimony before Congress. Feinstein was just one of four Senators to give opening remarks during the testimony.
When asked for comment by Mercury News, Feinstein’s office refused to comment on her husband’s financial dealings. Tom Mentzer, the communications director for Feinstein’s office, commented: “The transaction was made by the senator’s spouse and was marked as such in the filing. It wasn’t made by the senator and she has no ownership or control over it. The senator doesn’t discuss any of her husband’s business or financial decisions with him, so it in no way affected the hearing. All of the senator’s assets are in a blind trust, which was put in place when she joined the Senate. The transaction should have been reported earlier in the year, and a report was filed once the mistake was discovered.”
Blum’s ownership of Facebook stock was revealed by Feinstein’s office in a transaction report from May 22, a month after Zuckerberg’s testimony. Three other members of Congress disclosed their ownership of Facebook stock including Democratic Reps. Kurt Schrader of Oregon, Joseph P. Kennedy III of Massachusetts and Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. These members of Congress owned stock in Facebook ranging in value from $15,000 to $80,000.
A law passed in 2012 requires that all members of Congress disclose their stock ownership of a company, this law is known as the STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) act. Congress members must disclose their stock ownership within 45 days of a transaction under STOCK. It is reported that Feinstein may have complied with STOCK, but did not publicly state her husband’s ownership of Facebook stock.