Texas Republican's wife sold up to $215,000 in Meta stock two weeks before its value crashed
Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Texas and the GOP member member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, speaks during a hearing of the committee on Sept. 16, 2020. (KEVIN DIETSCH/POOL/AFP)

On Tuesday, the Washington Examiner reported that Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) disclosed a selloff of Meta stock potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, that occurred just before a huge drop in share price.

"McCaul, one of the most active stock trade filers in Congress, disclosed on Oct. 14 that in September, accounts owned by his wife and child sold between $61,000 and $215,000 combined of Meta, the multinational tech conglomerate that owns Facebook. But only two weeks later, on Thursday, Meta shares took a nosedive by over $700 billion, or 24%, after the company reported earnings that skirted investor expectations," said the report.

An attorney representing McCaul told the Examiner, "'Congressman McCaul did not purchase these stocks. Rather, his wife has assets she solely owns, and a third-party manager made the purchase without her direction."

Watchdog groups are suspicious, however. "It is entirely possible that the timing is coincidental, but one of the major issues with members of Congress trading stocks is that the American people are just less and less likely to give the benefit of the doubt," said Dylan Hedtler-Gaudette of the Project on Government Oversight in discussion with the Examiner. "You can understand why an average retail investor who took a financial hit on their own Meta stocks might be suspicious that their member of Congress just so happened to be able to avoid similar losses."

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This comes amid reports that 72 House members in both parties have failed to even comply with the terms of the 2012 STOCK Act, which simply requires proper disclosure of members' stock transactions.

Legislation has been proposed that would ban members of Congress and their immediate families from individual stock trades altogether; however, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has reportedly been skeptical of the proposal and dragged her feet on getting it before the House for a vote.