Ethics Watchdog Calls for Investigation into Sen. Richard Blumenthal
Updated: Apr 6, 2022
Evidence shows Sen. Richard Blumenthal violated ethics laws regarding stock transactions
The non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), has requested the Senate Select Committee on Ethics immediately investigate Sen. Richard Blumenthal for failing to disclose various stock transactions within the legal timeframe required under federal law, transactions which present conflict of interest concerns.
Federal law and Senate Ethics rules prohibit conflicts of interest and require Senators to file periodic reports to disclose any financial transactions exceeding $1,000 within 30 to 45 days of the transaction.
Recent reporting shows that Sen. Blumenthal and his wife "bought and sold shares of the stock trading app Robinhood while he called for Congress to investigate a controversial trading practice largely carried out on the platform." While Blumenthal called for an investigation into the company, his wife's family fund traded millions of dollars of the company's stock, and Blumenthal, as chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, did not take any action against the company. Additionally, as part of the millions of dollars of trades, Sen. Blumenthal's family sold up to $550,000 of Robinhood shares on Dec. 8, 2021, but he did not disclose these stock sales until February 2, 2022 -- after the 45-day deadline. Although Blumenthal's office argued that the assets were held in a "family trust," this is irrelevant to conflict-of-interest laws and financial disclosure requirements.
"Timely reporting stock trades is one of the most fundamental ethics laws, and there is no excuse for Senators to violate it. The disclosure law reveals conflicts of interest, including whether a Senator uses non-public information for personal gain and, on the other hand, how a Senator's personal investments may skew their decision-making on an official action. The ethics laws are essential for maintaining credibility and instilling public trust, and a major element of this is full and timely disclosure. We urge the Senate Select Committee on Ethics to investigate this case in which Sen. Blumenthal's personal investments and official action overlapped," said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
A full copy of the complaint can be found here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/