Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) is facing heat following a report released late last week that alleges that he failed to disclose at least $671,000 in stock trades, which would be a violation of federal law.
“Malinowski’s stock trades in 2020 included more than two-dozen purchases and sales during the first several weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a five-page spreadsheet Malinowski’s office provided Insider on Wednesday after a reporter asked about his stock activity,” Business Insider reported. “The spreadsheet contains stock trade information that does not appear publicly on the US House’s website, as required by law.”
The report said that Malinowski’s stock trading activity was the highest during March, which was the first month that the pandemic upended life in the U.S. The report said that Malinowski made between $671,000 and $2.76 million worth of trades last year, according to the spreadsheet that Malinowski’s staff provided to Business Insider.
Malinowski’s staff said that the apparent failure to file the disclosures was “an oversight” that Malinowski was “taking steps to correct” and was not “an effort on the part of the congressman to conceal any trade activities.” His staff also claimed that he has “a financial advisor that makes trading decisions on his behalf without his regular input,” and that he is willing to pay a fine if required to do so by the House Ethics Committee.
“I trust them to make these decisions,” Malinowski told a local newspaper. “They don’t ask me in advance of a trade. For that reason, I don’t know why they were making a particular trade at a particular time.”
“There’s no good reason other than putting off difficult paperwork in the crunch of my responsibilities,” Malinowski added. “I own that. I did it late and that was a mistake. I’m not in any way disputing that.”
The report said that the law Malinowski apparently violated was the Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, which former President Barack Obama signed into law in 2012. The law requires that Members of Congress and other government employees “report certain investment transactions within 45 days after a trade.”
Several Republicans faced scrutiny last year over similar issues, including Sens. Richard Burr (NC), Kelly Loeffler (GA), and David Perdue (GA). Investigations into Burr, Loeffler, and Perdue were later dropped. Following the news stories breaking on the three Republican senators, far-left Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called on Burr and Loeffler to resign and implied that Perdue engaged in wrongful activity. However, AOC has thus far remained silent on the allegations facing Malinowski.
New Jersey Republicans slammed Malinowski for his failure to disclose the financial trading activity.
“It is extremely concerning that, in the middle of the pandemic and accompanying market turmoil, Congressman Malinowski’s brokerage account was launching a flurry of transactions that we are only now learning about,” New Jersey State Republican Chair Michael Lavery said. “This is especially true because the congressman faced the voters last fall, and failed to provide them legally required information that would inform their vote.”
“While New Jersey was counting on our federal representatives for leadership the most, Tom Malinowski was making secret stock deals,” Republican consultant Harrison Neely said. “His constituents deserve further investigation into his actions.”