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Rep. Tom Malinowski. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Malinowski faces another ethics complaint over late stock trade disclosures

Congressman, already facing fire over unreported trades, failed to timely disclose April trades

By Nikita Biryukov, July 06 2021 10:25 am

A conservative non-profit filed another ethics complaint against Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) over his continued failure to comply with stock disclosure requirements imposed on members of Congress Tuesday.

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust on Tuesday filed a second complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics over Malinowski’s failure to timely disclose nine stock trades worth at least $186,000 in line with deadlines set under the Stock Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act.

That law requires members report stock transactions “within 30 days of notice of the transaction, but in no case later than 45 days after the transaction.”

The latest trades were made in April, and Malinowski was notified of them at the end of that month. They weren’t disclosed until June 12.

“The disclosure requirements are an integral part of an ethical and transparent government,” FACT Executive Director Kendra Arnold said in a letter to the OCE. “Timely and accurate filings are the only method for citizens to determine whether Members have conflicts of interest or are wrongly profiting from their position — and there are consequences for failing to follow this law.”

News of the new stock trades came as Malinowski was already facing a House Ethics Committee Investigation into allegations that he failed to disclose a swath of trades while seeking re-election in 2020.

The congressman has insisted the trades were made by his broker without his knowledge or say-so.

Colston Reid, the congressman’s chief of staff, last month said Malinowski was in the final phases of adopting a blind trust, which the congressman moved towards after Business Insider reported on his failure to disclose last year’s trades in March.

Those failures led to ethics complaints from FACT and the non-partisan non-profit Campaign Legal Center.

The congressman’s troubles over stock trades are likely to play a role in what is expected to be a close re-election race next year.

State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-Westfield), who lost to Malinowski by a little more than a point in a race that took days to call last year, will mount a rematch against the incumbent this year. He’ll formally launch his campaign with a feature from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Cali.) on July 14.

Former U.S. Senate candidate Rik Mehta has already entered the race.

The closeness of Malinowski’s 2020 contest and his stock controversy is also fueling speculation that Democrats on the New Jersey Redistricting Commission will draw him a Republican seat to shore up Democratic districts Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair), though Democratic county chairs in the 7th have denied planning anything of the sort.

It remains to be seen whether voters pick up on the stock issue, but it’s clear Republicans will try to ensure they do.

“Not only is Tom Malinowski still trading stocks after he was caught profiting off the pandemic, he is still showing blatant disregard for the law and continues to hide his transactions,” National Republican Congressional Committee Spokeswoman Samantha Bullock said. “Malinowski believes he is above the law.”

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