BREAKING: Campaign Legal Center Files Complaint Against Sen. Rand Paul for Failure to Comply with the STOCK Act
Under the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, members of Congress must disclose a stock trade within 45 days of the trade with no exceptions.
Washington D.C. – Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee against Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) for failure to comply with the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.
In a filing that was well over a year late, Sen. Paul revealed that his wife purchased between $1,000 and $15,000 worth of stock in Gilead Sciences, the maker of the antiviral drug remdesivir, in February 2020. Remdesivir would go on to become the first drug to be approved for treating COVID-19.
“The STOCK Act was enacted in order to give voters real time transparency regarding the financial holdings and interests of their elected officials—shining a light on any possible conflicts of interest,” said Kedric Payne, general counsel and senior director of ethics at Campaign Legal Center. “This filing, coming over a year late and detailing the financial interest a senator held in a company producing an antiviral drug from the onset of a global pandemic, is a clear example of why greater STOCK Act enforcement is needed.”
According to the filings, these trades occurred at roughly the same time as the trades that earned Paul’s fellow senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) widespread criticism. In the wake of this criticism, Burr would go on to announce he is not running for reelection in 2022, and Loeffler subsequently failed to win reelection.
According to a spokesperson, the disclosure was almost a year and a half late because the initial filing wasn't properly transmitted. All members of Congress and their staff receive mandatory STOCK Act training—an improper transmission is not an exception under the law.
Sen. Paul is not unique in this regard, and his actions follow a troubling, bipartisan trend. Recent examples of other members of Congress failing to disclose stock trades include Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX), Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) and Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), all of whom CLC has filed complaints against with congressional ethics offices in 2021.
If elected officials are not held accountable for failing to promptly and properly disclose stock trades, this trend may continue and worsen, with members delaying disclosure and only facing a nominal fee as a consequence. Such a lack of accountability allows members to essentially circumvent the STOCK Act.
When elected officials prioritize their own financial self-interest, they are not only hurting their own accountability, but they are diminishing public trust in government. As members of Congress craft laws that directly impact the lives of all Americans, the public must be able to trust that representatives are acting in the public’s interest.
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