- A congressional ethics watchdog says Rep. Mike Kelly’s wife may have made an illegal stock purchase.
- A report found “substantial reason to believe” she used insider information for the purchase.
- Kelly previously violated the STOCK Act by not reporting a stock purchase on time, Insider reported.
There is “substantial reason to believe” the wife of Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly profited by thousands of dollars on a stock purchase she made using “confidential information” she learned through her husband, according to an Office of Congressional Ethics report released Thursday.
In April 2020, Victoria Kelly purchased between $US15,001 ($AU20,095) and $US50,000 ($AU66,979) worth of stock in Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., an Ohio-based steelmaking company. Prior to that, the company said it would shut down their plant in Kelly’s district unless former President Donald Trump’s administration helped it compete with foreign producers, the report said.
Kelly lobbied for the company to the Trump administration, which complied with his request on April 28, 2020, according to the report. Victoria Kelly made the stock purchase the following day, days before any public announcement.
Kelly’s office did not respond to Insider’s request for comment, but a spokesperson told the Associated Press in a statement that Kelly has always been “open and transparent” about his finances, and has filed regular disclosures.
As the Associated Press reported, neither Kelly nor his wife have been criminally charged.
The ethics office recommended that subpoenas be issued for both of the Kellys, noting that both of them declined to cooperate with the ethics office’s review. The report also recommended that Kelly’s chief of staff and former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross be subpoenaed as part of the investigation.
The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK) Act was passed in 2012 to address insider trading and conflicts of interest in Congress. The law requires lawmakers quickly report any trades made by themselves, their spouse, or a dependent child.
The Kellys violated the Stock Act earlier this year, Insider previously reported.
In June, Kelly failed to report that his wife purchased between $US1,001 ($AU1,341) and $US15,000 ($AU20,094) worth of shares in Beauty Health Company until more than seven weeks after a STOCK Act-mandated deadline required he report the purchase.
Kelly is among 43 members of Congress identified by Insider and other news organizations as having violated the STOCK Act.