Politics

Ethics Complaint Alleges Democratic Rep. Broke Law By Failing To Disclose Stock Trades

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Michael Ginsberg General Assignment Reporter
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A complaint filed Monday by the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) alleges that former Democratic California Rep. and current congressional candidate Harley Rouda violated ethics rules by failing to disclose thousands of dollars in stock transactions.

Rouda did not make public stock transactions conducted by his wife within a legally-required time frame, the Orange County Register (OCR) reported on July 7. The STOCK Act, passed in 2012, requires members of Congress to report stock trades within 45 days of the transaction. Although Rouda’s wife made the trades in 2020, he did not report them until May 2021 in a termination report, according to OCR. (RELATED: DOJ Ends Investigation Into Richard Burr’s Stock Trades, Will Not Pursue Charges)

The six transactions were worth up to $45,000.

All former members are required to file termination reports detailing the end of their reporting requirements. Rouda lost to Michelle Steel, a Republican who previously served as a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, in 2020. He is running to retake the seat in 2022.

“This is a problem in Congress,” FACT Executive Director Kendra Arnold told the Daily Caller. “Unfortunately, the public has no way to find out about these transactions until Members report them. They are required to do so in a timely manner by law and, in the case of former Rep. Rouda, this is his second known violation. The rules must be enforced so members take their responsibility to report seriously.”

Rouda did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment. A campaign spokesperson told OCR that he was not aware of his wife’s trades, conducted via the Robinhood app, until he filed his termination form.

The FACT complaint, addressed to the Office of Congressional Ethics, notes that Rouda previously violated the STOCK Act. He failed to make public four 2019 stock transactions worth between $100,000-$250,000 within the required 45 day window, CBS News first reported in October 2020. Rouda did not make the transactions public until he filed a periodic transaction report on Aug. 13, 2020. Those trades netted him more than $200 in capital gains, according to the filing.