Senate Democrats are launching a major investigation into President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for health secretary for possible insider trading violations. They claim there is enough evidence to warrant a sweeping inquiry – throwing chaos into his ability to serve in Trump’s cabinet.
They cited a Wall Street Journal report saying that Trump pick Rep. Tom Price traded medical stocks while serving in the House – more than $300,000 in shares in roughly 40 healthcare companies, while at the same time pushing legislation that would unduly influence the stock prices of those same companies he owned.
All in all – since 2009, Price has executed more than 630 trades on the stock market, with many of them involving the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors he oversees as chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee and as a member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health.
Another member of Congress under investigation is Chris Collins (R-N.Y.). According to Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, both Price and Collins made major stock purchases just days between each other.
Collins purchased 4 million shares in August in the company whose board he sits on , and Price followed up with his own major stock purchase in the company two days later.
The stock value doubled in the three months following their investments. That’s quite good luck. This is worthy of investigation to determine whether any wrongful conduct occurred.”
While it’s not illegal for U.S. Congressmen to own stocks, the STOCK Act of 2012 makes it illegal for them to engage in insider trading.
Senator Chuck Schumer, whom Trump has recently labeled as a “clown” on Twitter, held a press conference saying that there was “enough evidence here that cries for an investigation.”
Whether the law was actually broken, whether there was quid pro quos, or inside information is a better way to put it, we don’t know. But there’s enough information here that it should be investigated before Congressman Price comes up for a hearing.”
Schumer then added: “If there would ever be an example of the swamp that President-elect Trump promised to clear out, it would be congressmen [and] senators using the inside information they had to benefit themselves personally by buying stock.”
“We’re an accountability Congress, we’re going to hold people accountable, and this is a glaring example of the need for accountability and oversight.”