The House Ethics Committee announced today that they will continue to probe Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) for possible violation of a federal law that requires congressmen to disclosure stock transaction within 45 days.
The announcement, made jointly by Chairman Ted Deutch (D-Florida) and Ranking Minority Member Jackie Walorski (R-Indiana) comes months after the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust filed complaints alleging that the two-term Democratic congressman failed to disclose stock trades under the Stock Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.
“The Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics have jointly decided to extend the matter regarding Representative Tom Malinowski, which was transmitted to the Committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics on July 23, 2021,” the ethics panel said in a statement released on Tuesday. “The Committee will announce its course of action in this matter on or before Thursday, October 21, 2021.”
The ethics matter comes as the New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission redraws the hugely competitive 7th district, where Malinowski won re-election in 2020 by just 1 % of the vote against Thomas Kean, Jr., the minority leader of the New Jersey State Senate.
“The Committee’s statement extending Rep. Malinowski’s review period reflects their standard practice when handling matters from OCE,” the congressman’s office said. “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 committee’s announcement escalates the attacks on Malinowski.
“Trading Tom Malinowski’s corrupt behavior is finally catching up to him,” said Camille Gallo, a spokesperson for the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). “Voters — and potentially the House Ethics Committee — will hold Malinowski accountable for his illegal activities.”
Malinowski has acknowledged omissions on his public disclosure and has since placed his assets into a blind trust.
The complaint alleges that Malinowski made aggressive stock trades – frequently shorting stocks – but never disclosed some of the details during his race against Kean last year.
He has said that he plays no role in trading of stocks and that he permits his broker, Gagnon Securities, to make decisions on his behalf.
The decision to pursue a formal review into the complaint doesn’t imply guilt, according to the Ethics Committee.
“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 statement said.
This story was updated at 4:40 PM with comment from Gallo and at 5:39 with comment from Malinowski’s office.