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Watchdog recommends Price subpoena in stock sales probe

Watchdog recommends Price subpoena in stock sales probe
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A congressional watchdog is recommending the subpoena of former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceWhat Trump didn't say in his State of the Union address CDC director bought tobacco stock while in office Overnight Health Care: Senate Dems block 20-week abortion ban | Azar sworn in as HHS chief | Dems demand answers on family planning funds | GOP takes sting out of ObamaCare MORE after he refused to cooperate in its probe of Rep. Chris CollinsChristopher (Chris) Carl CollinsGOP rep: Dems’ State of the Union response not ‘treasonous,’ but ‘embarrassing’ Shutdown grinds into workweek after Senate fails to clinch deal Negotiators seek 'breakthrough' under deadline for a Senate vote MORE (R-N.Y.) related to stock sales of an Australian biotechnology firm.

The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) on Thursday said Price was one of 10 individuals or entities that refused to cooperate with the investigation into whether Collins improperly shared nonpublic information in the purchase of Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited stocks.

Collins sits on Innate’s board and is the company’s largest shareholder.

In its report, the watchdog said there is "substantial reason to believe" Collins violated federal law and House rules, recommending the House Ethics Committee probe the claims.

OCE, an independent entity that reviews allegations against House members, also advised issuing a subpoena for Price to determine what he knew about the stocks.

Innate said it sold nearly $1 million in stock in discounted shares to Price while he was still a congressman, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

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Price came under fire during his confirmation hearings for stock trades made while he was involved in health-care legislation as a member of Congress.

Price defended his stock trades in the hearings and denied wrongdoing.

Democrats said he could have broken insider trading laws or a law against trading on congressional knowledge.

Price sold his shares of Innate in February, earning at least $225,000 on a $94,000 investment, according to congressional disclosure forms. The sales were made to comply with the ethics agreement he signed when he became the Health secretary.

Price resigned as Health secretary late last month after intense criticism of his use of private jets for professional trips at taxpayer expense, reportedly racking up more than $1 million in flights in just eight months.