Members of Congress should be required to place their investments into blind trusts to avoid conflicts of interest, insider trading, and other forms of corruption related to their appropriations of taxpayer funds, said Peter Schweizer, senior contributor to Breitbart News and author of Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite.
Schweizer offered his recommendation on Monday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow. The two discussed Sen. Richard Burr’s (R-NC) recent selling of between $628,000 and $1.72 million in stock ahead of coronavirus-related market declines.
Congress’s access to information not made available to the public — via confidential briefings and other means — opens the door to insider trading, noted Schweizer, additionally highlighting Congress’s power to affect markets given its control of government appropriations.
Broad public distrust of Congress arises from people’s knowledge of representatives and senators making self-interested funding decisions that benefit their portfolios and financial interests.
“Here’s the problem,” said Schweizer, addressing proposed relief funds for airline companies and other industries particularly damaged by the coronavirus pandemic, “members of Congress can trade stock in Delta Airlines or Boeing while they’re working on this bailout — while they’re voting on it — and it just throws the integrity of the whole process into question.”
Schweizer added, “Members of Congress, is it worth it to have the American people distrust you so you can make some extra side money by insider trading on the market? Because that’s really ultimately what this is about. There’s no legitimate explanation or reason that they can give for them not to be required to put their assets in a blind trust.”
Schweizer reiterated his call for the Department of Justice to open an investigation into Burr’s stock dump and to prosecute the North Carolina senator for insider trading based on violations of the STOCK Act.
Breitbart News Daily broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot 125 weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. Eastern.
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