By Vicki Needham and Peter Schroeder - 02/10/12 03:50 AM EST
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) is under investigation for possible insider-trading violations.
In a statement provided to The Hill, Bachus confirmed the ethics investigation, maintained his innocence, and vowed to cooperate completely.
“I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight. I respect the congressional ethics process," he said. "I have fully abided by the rules governing members of Congress and look forward to the full exoneration this process will provide.”
The Office of Congressional Ethics is looking into the Republican lawmaker's stock purchases, The Washington Post first reported Thursday night.
Bachus was one of several lawmakers at the center of a CBS "60 Minutes" report in November that accused top lawmakers — including Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — of using information from their dealings on Capitol Hill to shape their stock portfolios.
The Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent, nonpartisan agency that investigates those working within the House, has been looking into Bachus's stock dealings, specifically several questionable trades included on his annual financial disclosure forms, since the end of last year, according to the Post's story.
The ethics agency is looking into whether Bachus violated Securities and Exchange Commission rules that disallow lawmakers from buying or trading stock based on information they glean from their jobs, as well as whether he broke any House rules that bar members from using their office for private gain.
The news comes just after the House, spurred by the "60 Minutes" report, approved legislation intended to tighten rules on insider trading by lawmakers.
This post updated at 11:01 am.