Journalist Dave Levinthal discusses 'uptick' in congressional stock trade violations

Dave Levinthal, deputy Washington bureau chief for Insider, told Hill.TV that recent reports of 37 members of Congress who failed to properly disclose their investments mark an “uptick” as some lawmakers mull banning individual stock trades in Congress altogether.

Levinthal, during an appearance on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” said the value of the trades varied from the thousands to millions of dollars and included members of both parties. 

“We’re definitely not talking peanuts here with certain members of Congress who are very, very active stock traders,” he said.

Levinthal said some violations appear to be clerical errors, but noted that other lawmakers refused to explain the violations when reached for comment.

The STOCK Act, passed nearly a decade ago, requires members of Congress to quickly report trades of stock and other forms of securities.

“The law was designed to defend against conflicts of interest, to provide the public a picture-window view into the personal finances of lawmakers at a time when they are up on Capitol Hill and making financial decisions that are supposed to be in the public’s interest,” Levinthal said.

The recent stock trades spanned various industries. Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulVaccine 'resisters' are a real problem Democrats fret as longshot candidates pull money, attention Journalist Dave Levinthal discusses 'uptick' in congressional stock trade violations MORE (R-Ky.) disclosed his wife’s stock purchase in a pharmaceutical company that manufactures a COVID-19 treatment 16 months late, The Washington Post reported. The House Ethics Committee said last month it was reviewing stock trades by Rep. Tom MalinowskiThomas (Tom) MalinowskiUS Chamber targets more House Democrats with ads opposing .5T bill Journalist Dave Levinthal discusses 'uptick' in congressional stock trade violations Pandora Papers: 4 takeaways from massive leak of world leaders' finances MORE (D-N.J.), who has now placed his assets in a blind trust.

Levinthal emphasized that some of the trades involve companies whose industry relate to members’ committee assignments.

“There is definitely a very close relationship in some of these cases with the members’ personal finances and their official duties on the committees that they serve,” Levinthal said.