Appearances recommended in U.S. Representative Kelly’s ethics investigation into stock buying

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WASHINGTON – The Congressional Ethics Office recommends that a Congressional panel subpoena U.S. Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania and his wife as they investigate whether a stock purchase she made was the result of confidential information Kelly received in her role as a public official.

The recommendation was part of a report published on Thursday, who concluded that there were “substantial reasons” to believe that Kelly, a six-term Republican lawmaker from Butler County, and his wife, Victoria, had violated House ethics rules.

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On April 29, 2020, Victoria Kelly purchased between $ 15,001 and $ 50,000 in inventory at Cleveland-Cliffs. The company has a steel plant in the Congressman’s District that employs 1,400 workers, but was threatened by foreign steel imports.

Kelly had lobbied the Trump administration to help the ailing steel plant. A day before his wife’s share purchase, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs that the government would soon announce a new steel import investigation, which could benefit the business.

Representative Mike Kelly from the 16th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. (Official photo)

According to the report released Thursday, Kelly’s office learned of the development the same day from Cleveland-Cliffs and a senior Commerce Department official.

When that investigation was announced five days later, Kelly praised it in a press release, thanking the Trump administration for “listening to the concerns of our community and for taking action to end business practices. unfair acts that threaten AK Steel’s ability to continue generating electricity. steel.”

The news meant that the stock bought by Kelly’s wife had risen in value. She held onto the steel mill’s shares until January 2021, when the shares bought for about $ 4.70 each sold for $ 18.11 per share.

Members of the United States House and their employees are prohibited from using their official positions for personal gain.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was the first to report in September 2020 that buying shares raised ethical questions.

The Congressional Ethics Office report found the stock purchase unusual for the Kellys, noting not only the timing of the transaction, but also that it was the first individual stock purchase of Victoria Kelly in 11 months.

Kelly, his wife and Kelly’s former chief of staff Matt Stroia have all refused to cooperate with the Congressional Ethics Office review, according to the OCE report.

Asked to comment on the ethics report, Kelly spokesman Matt Knoedler said in a written statement that Kelly “has been open and transparent about his required financial disclosures during his decade in the House of Commons. representatives of the United States, including the House Ethics Committee inquiry. “

“Details published in news articles regarding these disclosures were found because the congressman made his financial records public,” Knoedler said. “The Congressman and Ms. Kelly have been and will continue to be advocates and supporters of the Butler Works / Cleveland Cliffs plant in Butler, where they have always resided. “

In a response letter Posted on the House Ethics Committee website, Kelly’s attorney wrote that they “respectfully disagreed with many of the report’s claims and characterizations,” and argued that there was no evidence Kelly had provided his wife with non-public information prior to the stock. purchase.


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