‘I mistakenly left it in draft’: Republican violates STOCK Act with up to $5 million in late disclosures

‘I mistakenly left it in draft’: Republican violates STOCK Act with up to $5 million in late disclosures
Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) is the latest federal lawmaker to violate the STOCK Act by failing to properly disclose purchasing up to $5 million in U.S. Treasury notes, according to a Raw Story analysis of congressional financial disclosures.

On May 4, Bishop disclosed that he purchased between $1,000,001 to $5 million worth of Treasury notes on Dec. 12 — more than three months past a federal deadline.

The disclosure said, “The submittal of this report is late because I mistakenly left it in draft and failed to submit when originally posted in Dec. 2022.”

RELATED ARTICLE: ‘Anti-corruption’ Rep. Dan Goldman made hundreds of stock trades after saying he'd create a ‘blind trust’

Bishop’s team confirmed this in a statement. “When submitting PTRs in December for U.S. Treasury securities purchased, Congressman Bishop mistakenly omitted to press ‘submit’ for the last of the three filings. He submitted it immediately upon discovering the mistake, and regrets the error,” said Allie McCandless, a spokesperson for Bishop.

Bishop’s team did not indicate if he would be required to pay a federal fine — the standard penalty for a late financial disclosure of this sort is $200.

Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) is the latest member of Congress to violate the disclosure provisions of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act requires lawmakers to publicly reveal, within 45 days, most individual stock, bond, Treasury security and cryptocurrency transactions. The law, passed by Congress in 2012, is designed to prevent insider trading, promote transparency and reduce conflicts of interest among federal lawmakers and other government officials.

Members of Congress are only required to disclose the values of such trades in broad ranges.

‘Continued, ongoing violation’

Dylan Hedtler-Gaudette, senior government affairs manager with the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan watchdog group that exposes conflicts of interest in the government, expressed skepticism that there would be any consequences for the violation.

A $200 fine “is not going to disincentivize or dissuade anyone from doing anything, particularly if you're talking about transactions in the millions of dollars. They're not going to care about a $200 fine, and even with that, oftentimes the ethics committee chooses to waive the $200 fine,” Hedtler-Gaudette said. “If there are no penalties and no consequences, then I think you’re going to see continued, ongoing violations and noncompliance with these disclosure requirements.”

Bishop is hardly the first congressman that Raw Story has reported on violating the STOCK Act.

In January, Raw Story broke the news that Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) failed to properly disclose that his wife sold up to $100,000 worth of stock in gaming company Activision Blizzard in September 2022 and purchased up to $15,000 worth of stock in Amazon.com in August 2022.

Related article: As First Republic Bank faltered, five members of Congress dumped their personal stock investments

Raw Story also reported that Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) was several days late disclosing that he had sold personal stock in an energy company and a pair of federal defense contractors.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) also violated the STOCK Act in March with a late disclosure.

During the 117th Congress from 2021 to 2022, at least 78 members of Congress — dozens of Democrats and Republicans alike — were found to have violated the STOCK Act's disclosure provisions, according to a tally maintained by Insider.

News organizations including the New York Times, Insider, NPR and Sludge have documented rampant financial conflicts of interests among dozens of members of Congress, such as those who bought and sold defense contractor stock while occupying positions on congressional armed services committees or otherwise voting on measures to send such companies billions of federal dollars. The executive and judicial branches are riddled with similar financial conflict issues, too, as the Wall Street Journal has reported.

The Wall Street Journal this week won a Pulitzer Prize for its investigation into financial conflicts among officials who work in federal agencies.

Potential stock-trade ban?

Amid these problems, a growing, bipartisan and decidedly odd coalition of federal lawmakers want to ban themselves and their colleagues from trading stocks altogether.

The most recent bill to be introduced — the Bipartisan Restoring Faith in Government Act — is co-sponsored in part by political rivals in Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

Other materially similar bills include the Ending Trading and Holdings in Congressional Stocks Act, the Trust in Congress Act and the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act.

Some lawmakers pushed for a congressional stock ban in 2022 only to be thwarted by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic congressional leaders, who wouldn’t allow a vote on introduced legislation.

As for Bishop, the congressman “broke the law by not reporting these transactions within that timeframe that he’s supposed to, so that should be the most important thing here,” Hedtler-Gaudette said.

RELATED ARTICLE: Raw Story goes one-on-one with Spanberger about Pelosi, McCarthy and her quest to ban congressional stock trading

“We’ve seen a lot of these kinds of violations in the STOCK Act disclosure requirements over the past couple of years, and I think it just speaks to a larger issue that really pervades the institution of Congress, and that’s that they just don't really take their ethics very seriously,” Hedtler-Gaudette said. “In particular, they don't take their disclosure requirements and their transaction reporting requirements seriously, and that's a problem because already the public doesn't trust Congress, generally speaking.”

POGO said its ideal vision for policies around congressional stock trading would be a ban on trading stocks and other assets like commodities and futures that are susceptible to insider trading while in office.

“It’s not that we don't want people to be able to have a financial portfolio, and obviously everyone ought to be able to save as far as retirement goes, but they just shouldn't be able to have an unfair advantage,” Hedtler-Gaudette said. “In the current moment, that’s what they have right now.”

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Ex-White House chief strategist and twice-convicted felon Steve Bannon's trial in New York for allegedly running a fraudulent scheme to bilk supporters of former President Donald Trump is less than a year away. And although Trump pardoned him before leaving office, that act of clemency offers the disgraced conspiracy theorist no legal protection,The Daily Beast's Jose Pagliery reported on Sunday.

Bannon, Pagliery recalled, "is accused of quietly enriching himself with donor money from a nativist GoFundMe campaign to build Trump's Mexico border wall. The case is essentially the exact same one as the federal proceedings two years earlier that, before trial, fell apart when Trump swooped in and saved him. But in New York now, it's only considered double jeopardy when a person has been fully prosecuted twice. That is, when someone was indicted and pleaded guilty—or, at the very least, had a jury sworn in."

Pagliery noted that "the federal prosecutors at the Southern District of New York, however, never got Bannon's case to trial. Trump used his powerful presidential authority to kill the investigation into his former White House chief strategist before federal prosecutors could get to that stage."

In 2019, then-Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) signed reforms into law that closed the so-called "egregious loophole" that would "prevent someone from being prosecuted twice for the same crime," Pagliery explained.

Cuomo did this "specifically because Trump started handing out pardons," John Jay College of Criminal Justice adjunct lecturer Diane Peress told The Daily Beast. "New York State took the position that these people need to be answerable to crimes they committed in New York State."

Trump, ex-prosecutor Todd Kaminsky added to the Beast, "was 'corruptly using the pardon power' to shield himself by saving his powerful friends."

All of this, Pagliery expounded, "means the Manhattan DA can go after the right-wing media personality for his role in 'We Build the Wall,' the GoFundMe that ludicrously promised to keep Latin American migrants out of the United States by amassing private funds to construct a wall at the southern border—even though the feds had proof that the small cadre of men leading the project had siphoned off donor funds."


The Prince of Wales and next in line to be King of England, Prince William, was seen in conversation with Ivanka Trump, daughter of former U.S. President Donald Trump, at a royal wedding in Jordan Thursday.

Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, were surprise guests at the wedding of Jordan's Crown Prince Al Hussein and Saudi Arabian architect Rajwa Al Saif. Confirmation of their attendance came hours before the event via Jordanian state media.

The event boasted an array of distinguished guests, including U.S. First Lady Jill Biden, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, and Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess.

Photos from the event, published by The Daily Mail, show Trump, a former adviser to her father, deep in conversation with Prince William, with Middleton seen walking ahead. (The photos can be seen here.)

Trump spoke "animated[ly]" as Prince William listened intently, reported the New York Post.

Tabloids and other news publications wondered what the two were in conversation about.

"We are dying to know what William and Ivanka spoke about (oh, to be a fly on that wall), but they did meet during a state banquet when the Trump family traveled to the U.K. to honor the 75th anniversary of D-Day in 2019," noted She Knows. "Her father has long been a big fan of the British royal family, and he’s often weighed in with his opinion about Prince Harry’s feud with King Charles III. So, we have to imagine the former president was jealous with envy that Ivanka was able to reconnect with Prince William again."

Ivanka Trump — along with her father — recently relocated to Florida. She said she'll have no part in her father's 2024 campaign.

Speaking about her Florida move, a source told the New York Post, “Ivanka hated all the criticism and the threats, and was unhappy about how a lot of their friends turned their back on them.”

“She feels it’s bad for her family … and negative in general in her circle of friends,” the source added.

During an appearance on MSNBC's "The Katie Phang Show" Mary Trump, the niece of former president Donald Trump offered up a way to "humiliate" him to his 2024 GOP presidential nomination rivals.

Speaking with the host, the now-indicted former president's niece called him a "loser" and then related a story about his childhood that, she claims, still irks him to this day.

Asked by the host if Trump rivals should "Take a page out of Donald Trump's playbook and go for the jugular?" Mary Trump shot back, "Katie, it amazes me that they have not done that yet."

"Again, I think it's because they're restrained by their fear of his stranglehold on the base -- I guess they should be," she conceded. "You know, if they were serious people, they would understand that they have a huge opportunity to take Donald out without having to contradict him in terms of policy as if there is such a thing these days or politics."

"Just call him what he is: he is a loser, he loses constantly, he has never legitimately won anything in his life," she continued. "He is a thin-skinned baby who has nothing to offer but white grievance."

"If I were one of these candidates, I would simply show up to a debate with a bowl of mashed potatoes because that was his very first experience of humiliation was when he was being a total brat before my grandmother put dinner on the table," she recalled. "My dad had just ordered to shut him up and stop him from tormenting his little brother Robert. Took a bowl of mashed potatoes, dumped it on Donald's head."

"He hates that story," she added. "He has never been able to laugh at himself in a healthy way. It's really not difficult to get under that extraordinarily thin skin of his."

Watch below or at the link.

MSNBC 06 04 2023 08 31 24 youtu.be

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