The congressional ethics watchdog claims that Rep. Mike Kelly's spouse may have purchased illegal stock.
According to a report, there was "substantial cause to believe" that she used insider information in order to purchase the property.
Insider reported that Kelly had previously broken the STOCK Act by failing to report a stock purchase on-time.
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According to an Office of Congressional Ethics report, Thursday's release shows that there is "substantial cause to believe" that the wife of Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly made thousands of dollars from a stock purchase she made with "confidential information" she received through her husband.
Victoria Kelly bought stock in Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (an Ohio-based steelmaking firm) between $15,001 to $50,000 in April 2020. The report stated that the company had previously said it would close down the plant in Kelly's District if it was not helped by the administration of President Donald Trump.
According to the report, Kelly lobbyed the Trump administration for the company. The Trump administration granted Kelly's request on April 28, 2020. Victoria Kelly purchased the stock the next day, just days before the public announcement.
According to the report, "The purchase took place just after her husband had learned confidential information about this company in his official job duties."
Kelly's office didn't respond to Insider's request, but a spokesperson for the Associated Press stated that Kelly has always been open and transparent about his finances and has filed regular disclosures.
According to the Associated Press, Kelly and his wife were not criminally charged.
The ethics office recommended subpoenas for both Kellys. This was despite the fact that they had declined to cooperate with its review. In addition, the report recommended that Kelly's chief-of-staff and ex-Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross be subpoenaed.
To combat insider trading and conflict of interest in Congress, the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act(STOCK) Act was adopted in 2012. This law requires that lawmakers immediately report trades made by them, their spouse or dependent children.
Insider reported that the Kellys had violated the Stock Act earlier in this year.
Kelly did not report in June that his wife bought shares in Beauty Health Company worth $1,001 to $15,000, more than seven weeks after the deadline under the STOCK Act.
Kelly is one of 43 Congressmen identified by Insider or other news organizations as having violated STOCK Act.