Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) on March 8, 2021 against Rep. Tom Malinowski for allegedly violating the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.
Between 2019 and 2021, Malinowski made more than 100 trades with a total value ranging from approximately $1.3 million to $5 million without filing any periodic transaction reports (PRT) as required by the STOCK Act and House rules. In such reports, members of Congress must disclose, “[a]ny purchase, sale, or exchange of securities [they] own or acquire.”
Under federal law, if a member of Congress fails to report stock trades within 45 days of the transaction, they can face both civil and criminal penalties.
For over two years, Malinowski traded stocks frequently without filing the required reports. In 2019, he made approximately 60 stock trades with a total value ranging from $597,000 to $2.2 million. He disclosed these transactions in August 2020, more than a year after most of them had occurred.
Furthermore, a comparison of his assets disclosed in his 2018 and 2019 annual financial disclosures reveals additional transactions that he failed to disclose.
More recently, in 2020 and 2021, Malinowski made more than 100 stock transactions, which were reportedly worth between $671,000 and $2.8 million. Despite the volume and frequency of these trades, he has once again not submitted any PTRs.
Malinowski’s failure to properly disclose the stock trades he made while in Congress comes on the heels of similar complaints against other members of Congress. Last year, the news broke that Rep. Donna Shalala had failed to comply with the requirements of the STOCK Act for over two years.
The issue of congressional stock trades was thrust into the national spotlight in spring 2020 when members of Congress like Sen. Richard Burr and Sen. Kelly Loeffler faced investigations for possibly using information gleaned at private meetings to make the decision to sell certain stocks in the early days of the pandemic.
These instances of possible insider trading and conflicts of interest demonstrate the need to enforce the law and hold members of Congress accountable. When they trade individual stocks and fail to disclose those trades, they break the law and diminish the public’s trust in government.
As members of Congress craft laws that directly impact the lives of all Americans, we must be able to trust that they are serving the public’s interest rather than their own. Therefore, the OCE must act swiftly to investigate the complaint against Malinowski and hold him to account.