3 Republican congressmen face ethics complaints for allegedly violating a federal stock disclosure law

Rep. Blake Moore, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, and Rep. Pat Fallon.
Rep. Blake Moore, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, and Rep. Pat Fallon.

  • Sen. Tommy Tuberville, and Reps. Pat Fallon and Blake Moore, are targeted by the complaints.
  • The Campaign Legal Center says the members broke transparency rules.
  • The complaints are in part based on reporting by Insider.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A watchdog organization is accusing three Republicans serving in Congress of violating a federal transparency law by failing to properly disclose millions of dollars worth of stock trades.

The separate complaints by the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center were filed Thursday afternoon with the Office of Congressional Ethics and US Senate Select Committee on Ethics. They allege Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, as well as Reps. Pat Fallon of Texas and Blake Moore of Utah, illegally delayed by weeks or months their numerous stock trades.

“When members of Congress trade individual stocks and fail to disclose those trades, they break the law and diminish the public’s trust in government,” the three complaints each state. “The recent prevalence of STOCK Act violations in the House shows that merely the threat of a fine is not deterring members of Congress from breaking the law; real accountability is necessary.”

The Campaign Legal Center’s complaints are based in part on reporting by Insider, which in June and July revealed that Tuberville, Fallon, and Moore had violated the STOCK Act.

Read more: Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville violated federal transparency law by failing to properly disclose stock transactions worth up to $3.56 million

The law, which Congress passed in 2012, is designed to defend against corruption and conflicts of interest, particularly for lawmakers who have personal financial interests in companies that vie for lucrative government contracts and spend millions of dollars each year lobbying the federal government. Among its provisions, the STOCK Act requires members of Congress to formally and publicly disclose any individual stock trade they make within 45 days of making it.

Members of Congress who violate the STOCK Act often must only pay a $200 late filing fine, regardless of the overall value of the trades they were tardy in disclosing. Congressional ethics committees may refer “knowing and willful” violations of the STOCK Act to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation, although this is rare.

Insider has reported that a growing number of federal lawmakers – Republicans and Democrats – have this year violated the law’s disclosure mandates.

Read more: Republican Rep. Blake Moore violated federal transparency law by failing to properly disclose stock transactions worth up to $1.1 million

“This is all triggered by a clear trend of members of Congress defeating the purpose of the STOCK Act,” said Kedric Payne, the Campaign Legal Center’s general counsel and senior director for ethics. “My hope is that the members will comply with the law that they created. But if complying with that law is too difficult for them, that supports the idea that’s been suggested that there should be restrictions on how they trade stocks.”

Reached Thursday afternoon, Tuberville spokeswoman Ryann DuRant said that “Sen. Tuberville has filed all required paperwork with the Ethics Committee. He was assessed a late filing penalty, and it has been paid.”

Representatives for Fallon and Moore could not immediately be reached for comment.

Previously, spokespeople for each lawmaker told Insider that their respective member of Congress will work to comply with the law in the future and that they do not personally make their own stock trades. Instead, they employ financial advisors to buy and sell stock on their behalf.

Read more: Republican Rep. Pat Fallon failed to properly disclose more than 90 stock transactions worth as much as $17.53 million in apparent violation of federal law

Payne said that each member of Congress is personally responsible for following the law.

Earlier this year, the Campaign Legal Center filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Tom Malinowski, a New Jersey Democrat, who Insider revealed has failed to disclose dozens of stock trades during 2020.

The Foundation of Accountability and Civic Trust, a conservative watchdog organization, also filed a complaint against Malinowski and also filed an unrelated STOCK Act ethics complaint against Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat from New York.

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These are the 6 Republicans who voted against a bipartisan bill on anti-Asian hate crimes

ted cruz resign
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex.

  • The Senate voted Wednesday to move forward a bill that would address the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.
  • In a rare bipartisan showing, almost all senators voted to advance the bill.
  • Insider reached out to the six Republican senators who voted to block the legislation.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Senate overwhelmingly voted on Wednesday to advance a bill addressing the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Led by Democrats Sen. Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Rep. Grace Meng of New York, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act will require federal officers to “facilitate the expedited review” of hate crimes.

“It defines COVID-19 hate crime as a violent crime that is motivated by two things: (1) the actual or perceived characteristic (e.g., race) of any person, and (2) the actual or perceived relationship to the spread of COVID-19 of any person because of that characteristic,” according to the bill’s summary.

In a rare bipartisan effort, a vast majority of senators voted 92-6 to advance the bill – bringing it one step closer to passing.

But the legislation could still face a difficult path forward. Republicans only supported the procedure on the agreement they could add amendments to the bill after it advanced: They added 20.

Hirono told HuffPost reporter Igor Bobic, some of the amendments added, “have absolutely nothing to do with the bill.”

Senate leaders will now have to agree which amendments to consider in order to pass the bill through the Senate, “very, very soon,” Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a floor speech Wednesday.

Here are the six Republicans who voted “no.”

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas

Tom Cotton
In this May 11, 2017 file photo, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.

A representative from Cotton’s office told Insider that he voted against the bill because “he’s working on related legislation.”

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas

Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, asks a question during the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.

Representatives from Sen. Cruz’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri

Josh Hawley Ted Cruz

Representatives from Sen. Hawley’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas

roger marshall
Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) questions Xavier Becerra, U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., February 23, 2021.

Representatives from Sen. Marshall’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).

Representatives from Sen. Paul’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama

Tommy Tuberville
2020 Alabama Republican US Senate nominee Tommy Tuberville

Representatives from Sen. Tuberville’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville doubled down on Capitol riot timeline, saying he told Trump about Pence’s evacuation before Trump attacked the VP in a tweet

senator tommy tuberville
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.

  • GOP Sen. Tommy Tuberville has again said he told Trump when Pence was evacuated during the Capitol riot.
  • GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy asked about the timeline, and Trump’s tweet attacking Pence, during the trial.
  • Trump’s defense lawyer dismissed Tuberville’s account as “hearsay.”
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville on Friday repeated his assertion that he informed President Donald Trump of Vice President Mike Pence’s evacuation from the Senate during the Capitol siege. Trump’s team had cast doubt on the claim during their defense.

“I said: Mr. President, they’ve taken the vice president out. They want me to get off the phone, I gotta go,” Tuberville said, according to CNN and other accounts. Tuberville also said he was “probably the only guy in the world” to hang up on the president.

The phone call, and the timeline, have come under scrutiny during Trump’s impeachment trial, as senators question if Trump knew Pence was in danger from the violent mob when he sent out a tweet attacking the vice president.

Read more: Meet the little-known power player with the ‘hardest job’ on Capitol Hill. She’s shaping Trump’s impeachment trial and Joe Biden’s agenda.

“Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution,” Trump tweeted at 2:24 p.m. on January 6, as a mob of his supporters closed in on the Senate chamber. Pence was evacuated at about 2:15 p.m. local time.

Tuberville first revealed Wednesday evening he had informed Trump of Pence’s evacuation in real time. The president had called the Alabama senator to encourage him to protest the certification of the election.

GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana asked Trump’s lawyers and the impeachment managers specifically about the tweet during the questioning portion of the trial Friday.

“The tweet and lack of response suggest President Trump did not care that Vice President Pence was endangered or that law enforcement was overwhelmed,” Cassidy said. “Does this show that President Trump was tolerant of the intimidation of Vice President Pence?”

Trump’s defense lawyer Michael van der Veen disputed the facts of the timeline that Cassidy presented, calling Tuberville’s claim “hearsay.”

Following the exchange, reporters questioned Tuberville about the phone call, prompting him to reiterate his version of the events.

Some lawmakers were also dissatisfied with the response of Trump’s lawyers. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren told reporters she did not think the response was adequate and that the question was important, but “Donald Trump’s lawyers simply, once again, tried to distract, look another way, and take attention away from the underlying question about what the evidence showed that Donald Trump knew and when he knew it.”

Independent Sen. Angus King told also reporters he thought the question was important and that the response of Trump’s lawyers was insufficient.

Read the original article on Business Insider