Suspicions continue to mount that a number of high-profile Democrats have engaged in violations of the STOCK Act, which mandates specific disclosures related to financial transactions, a growing scandal that even threatens to ensnare the likes of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) rumored heir apparent, as Fox Business reports.
Also known as the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, the STOCK Act was enacted in 2012 and is designed to prevent federal legislators, their staffers, as well as certain members of the judiciary and the executive branch from making stock trades based on information gathered in the course of their work.
As such, those in Congress must made “full and complete” statements of their and their spouses’ assets, debts, and income and also engage in periodic reporting of transactions greater than $1,000 within 30-45 days of their occurrence, as Fox Business explains.
The statute passed with massive bipartisan support during the Obama administration, as Breitbart notes, and was largely the product of controversy that erupted after the publication of government watchdog and investigative journalist Peter Schweizer’s book, Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism That Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison.
The legislation has succeeded in catching a number of legislators in questionable transaction scenarios and has prompted a number of formal inquiries, and it now appears that at least 11 Democrats are currently under suspicion of potentially unethical deals, many of which drew particular attention during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Perhaps the most noteworthy Democrat currently facing questions in this realm is Assistant House Speaker Katherine Clark (D-MA), whom many believe may take the reins of the party’s leadership once Pelosi stands down from the role.
According to reporting from Business Insider earlier this year, Clark is accused of failing to reveal 19 stock transactions conducted by her husband, which ranged in value from$19,010 to $285,000 and were not disclosed until two months after the mandatory filing date had passed.
Nevada Democrat Rep. Susie Lee is accused of failing to timely report stock trades of a personal nature that are thought to be work upwards of $3.3 million, reportedly involving companies including Wayfair, Inc., Planet Fitness, Inc., Carnival, Corp., US Foods Holding Corp., and Mariott International, as Breitbart noted.
Now that the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust has filed ethics complaints against Clark as well as other prominent Democrats including Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL), Lori Trahan (MA), and Kathy Castor (FL), and with a slew of others also under suspicion of similar breaches, perhaps accountability is possible sooner rather than later.