Momentum Builds for Limiting Lawmakers’ Investments

When politicians and reporters raised questions about Congress members and staffers trading individual stocks in December, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was cold to calls to buckle down. “We are a free-market economy,” she told a reporter. “They should be able to participate in that.”

A December Business Insider report had showed hundreds of congressional members and staffers violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act of 2012 with little-to-no penalties and hard-to-come-by information on violators.

The report followed Justice Department investigations of Sens. Diane Feinstein, James Inhofe, Kelly Loeffler, and Richard Burr for allegedly dumping stocks after receiving briefings about COVID-19 and before the market tanked during the early stages of the pandemic. The DOJ closed the investigations of Inhofe, Feinstein, and Loeffler. But as of October its investigation of Burr remained open, CNN reported. (The Securities and Exchange Commission didn’t respond to The Dispatch’s request for comment). 

About two years ago, a federal judge sentenced former Rep. Chris Collins to 26 months in prison for insider trading and lying to the FBI after giving his son a stock tip on a drug company. (Former President Donald Trump pardoned him in December 2020). 

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