House

Rep. Malinowski traded as much as $1M in medical, tech stocks with stake in COVID-19 response

Greg Nash

New Jersey Rep. Tom Malinowski (D) is facing two ethics complaints for his failure to report trading roughly $1 million in stock in medical companies that were involved in responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Associated Press.

The AP reported Friday that an analysis of records obtained by the news agency revealed the lawmaker’s involvement in the stock buying and selling starting early last year.

Malinowski’s trades in the medical and tech stocks were just one part of the approximately $3.2 million value of his buying and selling at the time, which the AP reported he failed to properly disclose to Congress as required by law.

The disclosure failure, first reported by Business Insider, was followed by two complaints filed against Malinowski with the Office of Congressional Ethics, according to the AP.

The newswire reported that while there was nothing to indicate Malinowski acted on insider information, records show he participated in the short-selling of stocks, or placing bets that the value of stocks for certain companies would decline.

In an interview with the AP, Malinowski admitted that he failed to file his financial activities, saying it was “a mistake that I own 100 percent.”

Malinowski added that his broker, Gagnon Securities, handles all of his trading decisions.

“All trades referenced by AP that were made in Congressman Malinowski’s account in 2020, including all short positions, were made by Gagnon Securities pursuant to its discretionary authority and without Congressman Malinowski’s input or prior knowledge,” the firm said in a statement on Malinowski’s congressional website.

Malinowski told the AP, “At no point in the last 25 years have I directed, suggested, or even asked questions about a particular trade being made by my brokerage firm.”

Malinowski’s office said in a statement on his website that the lawmaker “believes that all Members of Congress should be required to maintain blind trusts if they have any investments in the stock market.”

“In the absence of any such requirement, and going above the law, Congressman Malinowski is currently in the final phases of establishing a blind trust for himself,” his office added.

The Office of Congressional Ethics declined to comment when reached by The Hill.

Under the 2012-passed Stock Act, members of Congress are barred from using inside information to make investments. The law also requires lawmakers to report all stock trades to Congress within 45 days.

Other lawmakers in recent years have been at the center of inquiries into whether they used insider information to make financial decisions, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and former Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.). The Justice Department closed the probes of those trades in May of last year.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department said it had closed its months-long insider trading investigation involving Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) without charges.

Malinowski, a former assistant secretary of State, in an April 2020 MSNBC interview condemned people who sought to make money from the pandemic.

“This is not the time for anybody to be profiting off of selling ventilators, vaccines, drugs, treatments, [personal protective equipment], anywhere in the world,” he said at the time.

–Updated at 12:09 p.m.

Tags Business Insider Congress coronavirus pandemic Dianne Feinstein James Inhofe Kelly Loeffler New Jersey Office of Congressional Ethics Richard Burr STOCK Act Stock market stock trades stocks The Associated Press Tom Malinowski

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