Republicans under investigation for insider trading and millions in illegal campaign funds
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Republican extremist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) was fined again last week for refusing to wear a mask on the House floor, marking the 22nd penalty the congresswoman has amassed since last summer. Each violation is now costing her $2,500, taken directly from her congressional pay. The total cost of Greene’s refusal to mask-up has exceeded $50,000, nearly a third of her official salary.
“You have been observed not wearing a mask on July 29, August 2, September 20, 21, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, and October 1, 12, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, and 27, and have been asked by a member of my staff to wear a mask while in the Hall of the House of Representatives on each occasion unless recognized to speak by the chair,” [House Sergeant-at-Arms William] Walker wrote in the letter.
Greene declared her defiance on Newsmax on Monday, claiming she has been fined over $60,000 (clip):
She’s fined me over $60,500 in mask fines. I refuse to wear a mask! And, Chris, I have to tell you something else: I am not vaccinated and I will be standing strong, standing up for the people across this country that refuse to get vaccinated.
Fellow Georgia Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde was also fined last week, bringing his total to more than $30,000 for Covid violations.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Republican from Texas, joined the pair in the fined-for-safety-violations club last month when the House Sergeant-at-Arms cited (pdf) him $5,000 for skipping the metal detector to enter the House.
North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr is the subject of an intensifying Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into possible insider trading. Last week, Southern District of New York Judge Andrew Carter ordered Burr’s brother-in-law, Gerald Fauth, to testify before the Commission during the last week of November.
Burr called Fauth in February 2020, a week before the coronavirus market crash, to allegedly give him nonpublic information regarding the potential for a financial calamity. Immediately after getting off the phone with Burr, Fauth called his broker and sold between $97,000 and $280,000 worth of shares in six companies.
Burr dumped over $1.6 million of his holdings in 33 separate transactions on the same day. As then-Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and member of the Health Committee, Burr had access to sensitive government intel before anyone else. Yet publicly Burr did not raise any alarms. In a Feb. 7 op-ed, he said “the United States today is better prepared than ever before to face emerging public health threats, like the coronavirus.”
Two weeks after writing the op-ed, and one week after selling his stocks, the market crash began, falling by more than 30% in the subsequent month.
The FEC released a draft audit into the finances of Indiana Republican Sen. Mike Braun’s 2018 campaign, finding “apparent prohibited loans and lines of credit totaling $8,549,405.” The violations include $1.5 million from a company Braun founded and served as its chief executive officer. Federal law prohibits corporations from using general treasury funds to make contributions to political candidates.
The rest of the $8.5 million flagged by the FEC was loans and credit from financial institutions that did not require collateral, with no assured repayment. The campaign further misreported millions of dollars of contributions and disbursements (pdf).
Braun blames the illegal transactions on a supposedly errant treasurer (pdf):
In 2017, the Committee hired the former treasurer to serve as its treasurer because he was, at least ostensibly, an experienced FEC compliance professional who had worked for many federal candidate committees over many years…at some point during the 2018 election cycle this individual began making mistakes and failing to perform his services as warranted (and for which he was being paid). He ultimately vanished, and he has not been able to be located since the end of 2018.
The problem is, The Daily Beast found the treasurer, Travis Kabrick, in “minutes.”
The Daily Beast had confirmed Kabrick’s current job in a phone call with his employer, as well as his location, contact information, and three social media accounts… Brett Kappel, campaign finance law expert at Harmon Curran, told The Daily Beast that while Kabrick may be the object of the campaign’s ire, the FEC would likely target the campaign, and not him personally.
STOCK Act Violations
Democratic Rep. Peter Welch, of Vermont, failed to disclose the sale of up to $15,000 of Exxon Mobil stock within the 45-day legal time frame (pdf). His spokesman explained that his wife inherited the stock from her mother and an “honest mistake” led to Welch filing the transaction report eight days late.
Democratic Rep. Kim Shrier, of Washington, reported purchasing between $500,000 and $1,000,000 of Apple stock nearly two months late (pdf). Through a spokesperson, Schrier claimed she “was unaware of the transaction, which was made by her husband who handles their finances independently.” It was the first time she missed a transaction reporting deadline.
Democratic Rep. Alan Lowenthal, of California, bought up to $50,000 worth of stock in technology firm VMWare and failed to disclose the transaction on time.
Republican Rep. Richard Allen, of Georgia, again filed a late disclosure of stock purchased in industrial manufacturing company Dover. The congressman bought between $30,000 and $100,000 in Dover stock in June, but did not report the transactions until October (pdf) and November (pdf).
The 45 members of Congress who’ve failed this year to properly report their financial trades as mandated by the STOCK Act include:
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat of California
- Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a Republican of Alabama
- Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican of Kentucky
- Sen. Mark Kelly, a Democrat of Arizona
- Sen. Roger Marshall, a Republican of Kansas
- Rep. Tom Malinowski, a Democrat of New Jersey
- Rep. Pat Fallon, a Republican of Texas
- Rep. Katherine Clark, a Democrat of Massachusetts
- Rep. Diana Harshbarger, a Republican of Tennessee
- Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Republican of Texas
- Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat of New York
- Rep. Brian Mast, a Republican of Florida
- Rep. Blake Moore, a Republican of Utah
- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat of Florida
- Rep. Kathy Castor, a Democrat of Florida
- Rep. Lori Trahan, a Democrat of Massachusetts
- Rep. Steve Chabot, a Republican of Ohio
- Rep. Cheri Bustos, a Democrat of Illinois
- Rep. August Pfluger, a Republican of Texas
- Rep. Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat of Colorado
- Rep. Chris Jacobs, a Republican of New York
- Rep. Bobby Scott, a Democrat of Virginia
- Rep. Susie Lee, a Democrat of Nevada
- Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican of Oklahoma
- Rep. Thomas Suozzi, a Democrat of New York
- Rep. Cindy Axne, a Democrat of Iowa
- Rep. Warren Davidson, a Republican of Ohio
- Rep. Lance Gooden, a Republican of Texas
- Del. Michael San Nicolas, a Democrat of Guam
- Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican of Texas
- Rep. Dan Meuser, a Republican from Pennsylvania
- Rep. John Rutherford, a Republican of Florida
- Rep. Rick Allen, a Republican of Georgia
- Rep. Victoria Spartz, a Republican of Indiana
- Rep. Mike Kelly, a Republican of Pennsylvania
- Rep. Brian Higgins, a Democrat of New York
- Rep. Mo Brooks, a Republican of Alabama
- Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican of Indiana
- Rep. Pete Sessions, a Republican of Texas
- Rep. Rob Wittman, a Republican of Virginia
- Rep. Austin Scott, a Republican of Georgia
- Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican of Tennessee
- Rep. Michael Guest, a Republican of Mississippi