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Pennsylvania Parliamentarian Kelly faces ethical scrutiny of stock purchases

Washington – Parliamentary Ethics Watchdog has a “substantial reason to believe” that Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Kelly’s wife used private information obtained from her husband’s position in Congress last year to buy stock. I concluded. This may be a violation of federal law and house rules.

A report from the Parliamentary Department of Ethics, released late Thursday, detailed the April 2020 purchase of shares in an Ohio steelmaker. The company threatened to close its factories in the Kelly area unless the Trump administration took action to make it more competitive.

The Ethics Office has recommended issuing subpoenas to Kelly, his wife, Victoria, senior officials, and former Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. They refused to participate in interviews and surveys.

“Victoria Kelly made a featureless stock purchase on April 29, 2020 and benefited from this purchase. The purchase was made shortly after her husband learned confidential company information in the course of public affairs.” Said the report.

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The Ethics Office investigates complaints, but only the House Ethics Board has the authority to punish lawmakers for misconduct. The Commission said in a statement that it would review the report and investigate further.

Kelly is the latest person to bring together members of both parties to scrutinize prominent stock trading in recent years. This suffers from the shortcomings of a law known as the Stock Law, which the proposer first stated to end stock speculation among lawmakers when passed in 2012 with bipartisan support following a stock trading scandal. I emphasize it.

Kelly’s office did not respond to a request for comment on Friday. Neither he nor his wife have been charged with criminal charges.

Insider trading cases are very difficult to prosecute because they rely on clearly proving whether someone has acted on non-public information.

The report details the timeline for the event, which begins in early 2020, when Cleveland-Cliffs threatened to close its factory in Kelly’s northwestern Pennsylvania area. The factory employs 1,400 people to manufacture special steel used in grid transformers. The company argued that foreign producers were exploiting loopholes in federal trade law, giving them an unfair competitive advantage and demanding the enforcement of new tariffs.

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Kelly and other members of the Pennsylvania and Ohio parliamentary delegations soon lobbyed the Trump administration. The Ethics Report details the active promotion by Kelly, who worked closely with the company while putting pressure on government officials, including Mark Meadows, then Chief of Staff of Trump.

The administration initially rejected their efforts, but eventually tolerated and called Cleveland Cliff’s CEO from Los Angeles on April 28, 2020, informing him of the upcoming announcement.

Rumors of development spread rapidly throughout Kelly’s office, and the next day (a few days before the announcement was announced), Victoria Kelly bought the company’s $ 15,001 to $ 50,000 worth of shares, the report said.

She bought the shares for about $ 4.70 per share and then sold them when the price reached $ 18.11 per share, the report said.

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Kelly’s office defended the purchase after being scrutinized by the media in September 2020, “her support for the 100-year-old bedrock workers and management of their lifelong hometown. Called “a small investment to show.”

However, investigators found that “there was no public announcement by Kellys that would elicit or substantiate the support of factory employees for this purchase.”

In addition, investigators found that the purchase was out of the norm in her stock-buying practices. A few months ago, Victoria Kelly liquidated all of her individual stocks and invested the money in holding bonds and trusts.

Kelly’s isn’t just facing ethical scrutiny.

The Associated Press previously reported that New Jersey Democrat Tom Malinowski did not repeatedly disclose $ 1 million worth of transactions with medical and tech companies involved in the viral reaction. On Thursday, the House Ethics Commission revealed that Marinovsky had been fined for not repeatedly reporting his stock transactions to Congress, as required by law.

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Republican Rep. Jim Huggerdon is also facing an ethical investigation into whether the taxpayer’s money allocated to his office was used to contract services from companies owned by his staff. And Republican Rep. Alex Mooney is facing an investigation into whether he used the campaign’s cash to make personal purchases.

However, stock purchases such as those by Victoria Kelly have received the most attention in recent months.

Former Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler lost their vote in the Senate in January after their own stock trading became a major campaign issue. Both were investigated by the Department of Justice and eventually cleared.

Perdue had dumped $ 1 to $ 5 million worth of shares in a company that previously served on the board. After the market crashed, he bought it back, and after the price soared, it plummeted.

Leffler, the CEO and chairman of the New York Stock Exchange’s parent company, and her husband dumped millions of dollars in shares after a briefing on the virus.

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Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina was probably the most scrutinized about his deal. He resigned as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee after the FBI obtained a search warrant to seize mobile phones.

Burr and his wife sold $ 600,000 to $ 1.7 million in more than 30 transactions from late January to mid-February, just before the market began to plummet and government health officials began to warn about the virus. I did. Bali was captured in a recording that personally warned a group of influential members in early 2020 to prepare for economic devastation.

The Justice Department investigated Burr’s actions, but did not prosecute and closed the case.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

Pennsylvania Parliamentarian Kelly faces ethical scrutiny of stock purchases

Source link Pennsylvania Parliamentarian Kelly faces ethical scrutiny of stock purchases

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