Watchdog: 7 members of Congress allegedly failed to disclose stock trades
A watchdog filed ethics complaints against seven members of Congress on Wednesday, alleging that they failed to disclose stock trades.
The Campaign Legal Center (CLC) announced on Wednesday that it filed complaints with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) against Reps. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa), Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), Lance Gooden (R-Texas), Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Tom Suozzi (D-N.Y.), Roger Williams (R-Texas) and Del. Michael San Nicolas (D-Guam), accusing them of failing to disclose stock trades in compliance with the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.
The watchdog is requesting that the OCE conduct an investigation into the members of Congress for allegedly failing to disclose more than $12 million collectively.
The CLC alleged that Suozzi failed to disclose up to $11 million worth of stock transactions, the highest amount among the lawmakers currently under scrutiny by the watchdog.
The watchdog complaints also alleged that Axne failed to disclose up to $645,000 worth of transactions, Gooden up to $376,000, Davidson up to $100,000, Scott up to $60,000, San Nicolas up to $50,000 and Williams up to $45,000.
The STOCK Act requires that all members of Congress disclose any financial transactions within 45 days of making the move.
The CLC said it had a “particular concern” with the alleged violations by Axne, Davidson, Gooden, San Nicolas and Williams because they all sit on the House Financial Services Committee.
“The lack of accountability we’ve seen in regard to STOCK Act compliance is basically giving elected officials the green light to buy and sell stocks based on information gained from committee meetings without any transparency for their voters,” Kedric Payne, the CLC’s general counsel and senior director of ethics, said in a statement.
Davidson’s office told The Hill in a statement that there was an error on the House clerk’s website that stopped a transaction from being properly displayed to the public, adding that the congresswoman “is in full compliance with ethical and financial disclosure rules of the House of Representatives.”
“We trust this correction will soon be reflected on the Clerk’s website,” his office added.
A spokesperson for Axne, in a statement to The Hill, said the lawmaker does not manage or execute transactions for her retirement account or the accounts she has with her husband or small business, adding that any errors made in her disclosures were unintentional.
“In accordance with her legal requirements, she has submitted all required disclosures of her assets through her first three years in Congress,” the spokesperson said.
“If there are errors with those disclosures, they are unintentional and the Congresswoman will take immediate and all necessary steps to ensure her disclosures are accurate and in accordance with the law,” the spokesperson added.
Dylan Smith, a spokesperson for Suozzi, said that the congressman’s investors are managed through independent advisers.
“The Congressman’s investments are managed through independent advisors with discretion over all transactions. Due to a misunderstanding, periodic transaction reports were not filed, but every transaction was reported on his annual financial disclosure. Going forward all proper periodic disclosures will be filed on a timely basis,” Smith said.
The Hill has reached out to Gooden, Scott, San Nicolas and Williams for comment on the CLC’s announcement.