House ethics panel looking at stock trades of NJ’s Tom Malinowski
TRENTON – The House Ethics Committee is acknowledging that it is looking into whether U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-NJ, violated a federal law on disclosures of stock trades.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the committee said it had received the matter from the Office of Congressional Ethics on July 23. The committee's leaders – chairman Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and ranking member Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-Ind., – said they agreed to extend the review by another six weeks.
“The committee notes that the mere fact of a referral or an extension, and the mandatory disclosure of such an extension and the name of the subject of the matter, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the committee,” the leaders said in a statement.
“The committee will announce its course of action in this matter on or before Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021,” they said.
The ethics committee also extended its reviews of referrals from the Office of Congressional Ethics into three House members from Minnesota, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, all of whom are Republicans.
Malinowski’s office said the review is the standard practice for the House Ethics Committee in handling referrals from the Office of Congressional Ethics.
“Rep. Malinowski continues to participate in this routine process in good faith, and remains committed to complete transparency with the public; going beyond the requirements for members of Congress by placing his holdings in an Ethics Committee approved qualified blind trust,” the office said in a statement.
A federal law called the Stock Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act requires members of Congress to disclose stock trades in excess of $1,000 within 45 days. Malinowski has conceded that his disclosures were incomplete in 2020 but said he played no role in the stock trades by his broker.
Business Insider reported that Malinowski had failed to timely report more than $671,000 in stock trades. The Associated Press subsequently reported that during the pandemic, he bought or sold as much as $1 million in stock in medical and tech companies.
Malinowski is in his second term representing the 7th Congressional District, having defeated then-Rep. Leonard Lance by 5 percentage points in 2018 and challenger Tom Kean Jr., the state Senate minority leader, by 1.2 percentage points last year.
The district includes all of Hunterdon County and parts of five others – Essex, Morris, Somerset, Union and Warren. Somerset County accounts for the biggest share of the district, 33%, followed by Union at 25% and Hunterdon and Morris at 17% apiece.
Those boundaries will change in redistricting, the once-a-decade adjustment of political boundaries to rebalance populations after each census. The deadline for the new map is in mid-January.
The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC that helps elect Republicans to the House, said Malinowski had engaged in "pandemic profiteering" and tried to conceal it from voters.
"Congressman Malinowski’s troubles are only just starting to heat up,” said Calvin Moore, the CLF's communications director. “Tom Malinowski made himself the portrait of Washington corruption and it’s time he is held accountable for it. This investigation will bring light to Malinowski’s shady stock deals and will hang over his head like a dark cloud until Election Day.”
Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.