Campaign Legal Center calls failure to report ‘disturbing,’ but notes ethics laws rarely enforced
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert disclosed between $5,000 and $80,000 in assets in various stocks, cryptocurrency and brokerage funds in the 2021 personal financial statement the Garfield County Republican filed a week ago.
The investments were all listed as belonging to her husband, Jayson Boebert.
But Boebert didn’t file the required “periodic transaction reports” when the investments were purchased in 2021. Nor did she file reports on eight cryptocurrency trades her husband made on the Robinhood app over two days in May 2021 ranging from $4,000 to $60,000.
The U.S. House of Representatives requires such purchases, sales or trades to be reported within 45 days under the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, also known as the STOCK Act. The rules require disclosures in ranges instead of in exact amounts.
Business Insider reported earlier this year that at least 70 members of Congress violated the STOCK Act, noting that penalties are typically waived. U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, was the subject of criticism earlier this summer for reporting stock transactions on his annual financial disclosures that weren’t disclosed previously.
U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Arvada, was late to file stock transactions, according to Business Insider.
Kendric Payne, a vice president of the Campaign Legal Center and a former deputy chief counsel for the Office of Congressional Ethics, called Boebert’s failure to report the trades “disturbing.”
“There’s a huge red flag that all these assets were obtained in one year, but no reporting on it,” Payne said. “And it’s not even reported accurately in that annual report. Those things should be transactions,” not just listings of assets.
Members of Congress may be fined $200 for failing to file the periodic transaction reports on time. But Payne said complaints about late or incorrect reports investigated by the Office of Congressional Ethics rarely result in action by the House Ethics Committee.
“The Office of Congressional Ethics did investigate multiple members for violating the STOCK Act, but then the committee on ethics dismissed those cases,” he said.
Congress is considering several bills that would ban members of Congress, and potentially their spouses, from trading individual stocks. Democratic U.S. Reps. Joe Neguse of Lafayette, Jason Crow of Centennial and Diana DeGette of Denver, are sponsoring some of the measures, several of which also have Republican backing.
In 2020, Boebert didn’t disclose any stock, cryptocurrency or brokerage fund assets in her personal financial filing, which landed her in hot water because it also divulged that her husband had been paid nearly $1 million over two years for consulting work for an oil and gas company with a big Western Slope presence.
A spokesman for Boebert didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Boebert is running for re-election to a second term in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, which stretches from Moffat County south to the state line then across the San Luis Valley to Pueblo, Otero and Las Animas counties.