Jack Abramoff, the Washington lobbyist/crook — turned jailbird — says he knows of as many as 12 members of Congress who have engaged in insider trading — in at least one case making “several hundred thousand dollars.”
In an interview with CNBC’s Eamon Javers, Abramoff said that it was “pretty widely known” that such practices were going on.
“It was more, ‘Look at me, I’m a real great stock trader,'” Abramoff told CNBC of the congressional bragging. “All of a sudden somebody from a background maybe in law, maybe in some other unrelated business area, all of a sudden is picking winners and losers in the market.”
Insider trading laws don’t apply to Congress, Javers reports — though representatives and senators come into contact with non-public information on a regular basis.
“Hearings under almost every circumstance are going to have a bad impact on a company,” Abramoff added. “And so some staffers I’ve seen in the past talking about the fact that, ‘Oh, I’m gonna go out and short that company.”
Abramoff was the centre of a massive corruption investigation that saw the arrests of two Bush White House officials, a congressman, and several congressional aides. He wouldn’t reveal the members of Congress he knows to have engaged in insider trading.
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