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Malinowski Reveals Millions of Dollars in Undisclosed Stock Trades

New Jersey Democrat under investigation for apparent STOCK Act violations

Rep. Tom Malinowski (D., N.J.) / Getty Images
• October 21, 2021 5:05 pm

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Just days after entering his financial assets into a blind trust to sidestep ethics questions over his failure to disclose stock transactions in a timely manner, New Jersey Democrat Tom Malinowski revealed 86 new financial transactions worth up to $1.97 million that he failed to disclose when he originally made them.

Those transactions, disclosed on Aug. 26, date back to January 2019, his first month as an elected official. Together they were valued at between $373,086 and $1,970,000, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis. The disclosure came just a week after Malinowski on Aug. 17 entered his assets into a blind trust in hopes of sidestepping ethics concerns raised over his past violations of the STOCK Act, which requires members of Congress to report securities transactions worth over $1,000 within 45 days.

Malinowski failed to report any of the 86 newly disclosed stock transactions, made between January 2019 and March 2021, within the required 45 day timeframe. Also included in the report were 48 amendments to financial transaction disclosures that were filed inaccurately.

A report by Business Insider in March that Malinowski had repeatedly violated the STOCK Act in his first two years as a congressman led to numerous ethics complaints against the New Jersey Democrat. The House Ethics Committee announced on Thursday afternoon that its members had voted to continue its investigation into whether Malinowski violated the STOCK Act, noting that he "may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law."

Malinowski said his decision to enter his assets into a blind trust go "well above what the law requires" to avoid conflict of interest concerns, but just days later violated what watchdog group Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust called one of the simplest ethics rules.

"Stock transaction disclosures are one of the easiest, yet essential requirements with which members must comply," FACT executive director Kendra Arnold told the Free Beacon. "The law clearly states members must provide ‘full and complete' financial information to the public in a timely manner. Rep. Malinowski is well aware of his failure to comply with these rules already, however, he apparently chose to continue to file improperly. These additional violations should be of grave concern to the public because if members cannot follow this simple rule, the public will cease to trust them and our broader system."

Among Malinowski's undisclosed transactions were purchases of health care and technology companies that saw their values skyrocket during the pandemic.

On June 11, 2020, for example, Malinowski purchased stock for roughly $5 a share in TFF Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company that won major investment as it developed potential COVID-19 treatments. The company's stock price more than tripled to $18.34 before the year's end. It is unclear whether Malinowski still holds the stock.

Over half of the newly disclosed trades were made after Jan. 21, 2020–when the World Health Organization determined that coronavirus reached America.

Also included in the new batch of disclosures are transactions involving Chinese companies such as CNFinance Holdings Ltd, which is based out of Guangzhou, China, according to its listing on NASDAQ. Malinowski has publicly talked tough on China, even penning an op-ed for the Washington Post outlining how the United States could  "defeat China."

The ongoing ethics headache could put Malinowski in serious electoral trouble. The New Jersey Democrat is viewed as one of the most vulnerable members in the House—he won reelection in 2020 by just over 1 point.

Malinowski is also at risk of falling prey to the redistricting process, which takes place in New Jersey and states across the country every 10 years. Democratic lawmakers in charge of the process could view Malinowski as a political liability and draw lines that would speed up his exit from politics.

Malinowski's office did not respond to a request for comment.

Update, 6:23 p.m.: This piece was updated to reflect the House Ethics Committee's announcement on Malinowski.