There’s “substantial evidence” that four congressmen, one Democrat and three Republicans, violated ethics laws, the House Office of Congressional Ethics said on Thursday. As a result of the findings, the committee said it will investigate the cases further.
According to documents released Thursday, Rep. Mike Kelly, Pennsylvania Republican, and Rep. Tom Malinowski, New Jersey Democrat, may have improperly benefited financially from information they gained as members of Congress.
Rep. Jim Hagedorn, Minnesota Republican and Rep. Alex Mooney, West Virginia Republican, are accused of improperly using campaign contributions.
The ethics committee found that Mr. Kelly’s wife, Virginia, “bought at least $15,000 of shares in Cleveland Cliffs, a steel producer.” The purchase took place “five days before the Department of Commerce announced an investigation into steel imports that stood to benefit the company.” Mr. Kelly had pushed for the department to open the investigation.
Mr. Kelly denied the allegations and said there is “no evidence that Mr. Kelly or his wife Victoria acted improperly.”
Mr, Malinowski, according to the committee, failed to disclose stock trades within 45 days, as required by federal law. The trades took place from January 2019 through January 2021 and totaled over $670,000. Mr. Malinowski told the committee the failure was “inadvertent” and the case should be dismissed because he has taken steps to make sure it does not happen again.
The committee also found that Mr. Hagedorn may have misused funds by hiring two firms linked to two of his staffers, and paying the companies unusual amounts of money. Mr. Hagedorn also allowed a donor to provide him with free office space.
Mr. Hagedorn told the committee the allegations are “unfounded” and that he has been targeted by the Federal Elections Commission and “leftist groups.”
As for Mr. Mooney, the committee said there was reason to believe the congressman used campaign money to fund personal expenses and failed to report more than $40,000 in expenditures. Mr. Mooney is accused of using $3,400 in campaign funds at West Virginia restaurants and using campaign dollars to cover “expenses for two visits to resorts with family members.” Mr. Mooney did repay his campaign $12,000. The committee’s report did not mention a response from Mr. Mooney.