A renowned ethics expert raised concerns about the comments made by Democrat Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), during a television interview in which he seemed to suggest that he invests in financial assets based on U.S. Senate actions.
On Bloomberg’s Balance of Power, Bennet seemed to suggest that he wouldn’t make any financial investments until he knew exactly what would be done in Senate with the Manchin/Schumer “Inflation Reduction Bill”. Even if he did not, he must report transactions exceeding $1,000 within 30 to 45 business days.
Bennet mentioned Sinema because she and Senator Joe Manchin (D.WV) usually wait until the end of negotiations before they make a decision on how to vote on large pieces of legislation. Recent reports have shown that Sinema wasn’t aware of Manchin’s efforts to revive reconciliation bills and was only informed about it by the media.
When Fox News Digital asked Bennet if he had ever considered private Senate meetings before making investments, Bennet’s campaign team tried to retract his statements.
“No, ofcourse not,” Georgina Beven, Bennet’s Colorado campaign spokesperson, told Fox. Before claiming that Republicans like Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – KY) and Joe O’Dea were trying to “desperately distort Michael’s observation about the Inflation Reduction Act remaining a work in process,”
Beven said that it is still a work-in-progress because Republicans oppose the effort to lower drug prices for workers, fight inflation, reduce deficit and close tax loopholes in favor of hedge fund managers and large corporations.
A spokesperson said that Bennet does not have control over his investments. Instead, a Denver asset manager manages them.
Kendra Arnold, executive director of Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a federal ethics watchdog, exclusively said to Breitbart News that Senator’s comments on TV raised concerns because lawmakers are expected to uphold “high ethical standard” when they take office.
Arnold stated that Senator Bennet’s comments raised a red flag about how Members trade stocks to respond to legislation. When they assume office, members are required to uphold high ethical standards. I hope Senator Bennet will not sell or buy stocks based on any legislation.
She also pointed out that there is a system in which Members must disclose stock transactions. If he has disclosed this information, I encourage him to investigate.”
Arnold pointed out that Bennet is required, as every other federal lawmaker, to file Financial Disclosure Statements with Clerk of the House of Representatives each year on May 15, for the previous fiscal year. Correctly filled out, the statements show which stocks each person has and what sources of income they have.
Additionally, senators must submit a monthly transaction report every 30 to 45 days for stock transactions exceeding $1,000 on their behalf or on the behalf of their spouses. This is in accordance with the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012.
President Barack Obama signed the STOCK Act, a bipartisan bill that prohibited insider trading by members Congress, into law on April 4, 2012. Both parties supported the legislation with overwhelming support.
Peter Schweizer, a senior contributor to Breitbart News and President of the Government Accountability Institute (GAI), rocked Washington in 2011 with his revelations about insider trading by Congressmen. Left-leaning Slate hailed Schweizer’s bestseller on the topic, Throw Them All Out as “the book which started the STOCK Act stampede.”
Schweizer’s Throw Them All Out featured Spencer Bachus, then-chairman of House Financial Services Committee (Republican-Al) who declared he would not run for reelection following the publication’s reporting.
Bachus was indeed the only elected official Andrew Breitbart called upon to resign. CBS 60 Minutes’ investigative report on Schweizer’s revelations won them the Joan Shorenstein-Barone Award for excellence Washington-based journalism.
Bennet’s suggestion that he was waiting for Sinema to decide on a bill for financial action to be considered by the National Republican Senatorial Committee quickly received a swift response from the NRSC.