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Kevin McCarthy Wants Investigation Into Paul Pelosi’s Stock Trades

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican who could be sitting in the Speaker’s chair next January if his party retakes control of the chamber after the November midterms, wants some action regarding suspicious stock trades made by the current Speaker’s husband.

McCarthy pledged an investigation into the trades, which several Republicans have alleged appear to violate insider trading laws, if the GOP is victorious.

To be clear, there have been no charges leveled against Paul Pelosi, a San Francisco-based financial consultant and investor, and to date, there has been no public announcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the Justice Department into any of his recent trades.

But Republicans increasingly believe Paul Pelosi’s trade success is due in large part to his alleged prior knowledge of legislation his wife, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is preparing to move in the House.

Case in point: In June as legislation was moving to provide tens of billions of dollars in federal subsidies to U.S. manufacturers of computer chips — in a bid to re-shore that capability from China as tensions with Beijing increase — Paul Pelosi bought $5 million worth of stock in American chip maker Nvidia, a purchase that Nancy Pelosi disclosed on required congressional financial disclosure forms.

Paul Pelosi has subsequently sold at least some of those shares, at a loss by the way, following public scrutiny.

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“I would look all the way through it,” McCarthy said of a Democrat proposal to ban stock trading for spouses of Congress members. “What I’ve told everybody is we will come back, and we will not only investigate this, we will come back with a proposal to change the current behavior.”

“Her husband can trade all the way through, but now it becomes a crisis?” he said during a press conference on Friday, according to a clip that was published by Newsweek. “I think what her husband did was wrong.”

“I think we need to bring trust back to this institution,” he said. “I think we have to do a thorough investigation and look at what is the proper role for members of Congress and what influence they have, and I don’t think the proper way to do this is Nancy Pelosi writing the bill because we have proven that she can’t do that.”

Punchbowl News reports that Democrats plan to bring up legislation when they return from their summer recess next month that would bar stock trades by members of Congress and their spouses.

“Punchbowl News: House Democrats plan to announce a proposal next month to ban lawmakers, their spouses, and senior staff from trading stocks, according to multiple sources close to the issue,” MSNBC executive producer Kyle Griffin posted on Twitter.

Bloomberg News on Friday added:

House Democrats are readying a proposal to restrict members of Congress, their staff and their families from trading securities.

A framework for legislation is set to be released next week by the Committee on House Administration, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked for anonymity because the plan hasn’t been made public.

Democrats have been working for months on some form of restrictions on stock trading by lawmakers, an issue that has united progressive Democrats and conservative Republicans.

A separate effort to write legislation incorporating several proposals is underway in the Senate.

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“We’ll have something very soon,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, (D-Calif.) the head of the committee, said Thursday, without providing any elaboration.

The report said that both Pelosi and McCarthy have indicated they will support the measure, depending on the details.

That said, some Democrats aren’t at all certain that any legislation will pass, according to the Washington Examiner:

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) said in an interview that she was “very” skeptical of any legislation that would impose additional ethics rules on members of Congress, arguing that the restrictions lawmakers already face are disproportionate to comparatively lax ethics requirements binding justices of the Supreme Court.

“If you don’t have the courage to put ethical standards on the Supreme Court, and we have all these ethics requirements and limitations, including reporting and being transparent, then I don’t understand,” Lawrence said.

“We have so many ethical requirements,” she continued. “I don’t understand the premise behind this. It’s like, you’re writing a bill to do what?”

“We’re American citizens too and, you know, have the need to take care of our families and invest also,” Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.), told the Examiner.

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