Ethics Watchdog Calls for Investigation into Three House Members for Breaking Federal Law
Updated: Feb 4, 2022
Evidence Shows Three Members Failed to Disclose Stock Transactions
Washington, D.C.— August 25, 2021— The non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), sent the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) three letters calling for an immediate investigation into Reps. Lori Trahan (MA), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL), and Kathy Castor (FL) for apparently violating Federal Law and United States House of Representatives ethics rules.
Federal law and House Ethics rules require Members to disclose financial information to the public, including financial disclosure reports that provide a “full and complete” statement of the Member’s and his/her spouse's assets, debts, and income, as well as periodic reports of financial transactions that exceed $1,000 within 30 to 45 days of the transaction.
Recent reports show that these three Members failed to report the purchase and selling of stocks within the required time frame. Rep. Trahan sold up to $15,000 in the software company Stella Connect. Trahan failed to properly disclose this transaction that took place on September 10, 2020 according to her recent filing. She finally disclosed the sale on July 27, 2021—over ten months late. Rep. Wasserman Shultz purchased up to $15,000, and her dependent child purchased up to $45,000, in a telecommunications-product company called Westell Technologies in October 2020, but she did not disclose the trades until July 2021. Lastly, Rep. Castor's most recent records show that she failed to disclose within the prescribed 45 days up to $45,000 worth of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. stock she acquired in June and July of 2020. She ultimately disclosed those purchases on July 27, 2021.
“Any violation of the financial reporting requirement is a serious breach of House ethics rules and federal law. The law is abundantly clear and there are no excuses for any member not to comply. There is nothing new about these requirements which are well-known to public officials, and it is their duty to affirmatively ensure compliance. This required transparency is the only mechanism for citizens to monitor conflicts of interest or self-enrichment. The OCE must investigate immediately and impose the proper sanctions including fines and penalties if these members are found in violation,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
A full copy of the Trahan complaint can be found by clicking here.
A full copy of the Wasserman Schultz complaint can be found by clicking here.
A full copy of the Castor complaint can be found by clicking here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/