Rep. Dan Crenshaw purchased stock during pandemic — and failed to disclose transactions

Rep. Dan Crenshaw purchased stock during pandemic — and failed to disclose transactions
Photo via Gage Skidmore

Rep. Dan Crenshaw's (R-Texas) stock purchase history is coming under fire due to questionable transactions made at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Although the Republican lawmaker did not purchase any stock in his first 13 months of office, he made a number of purchases in a short period of time as the United States shut down in March of last year. Crenshaw also failed to report those transactions, the Daily Beast reports.

The Beast offered a brief breakdown of Crenshaw's transactions:

Five of those purchases came in the three days between March 25 and 27, as the Senate and House voted on the CARES Act and former President Trump signed it into law. Crenshaw, who supported the bill, did not initially disclose the transactions, in violation of the STOCK Act, a law that requires members of Congress to tell the public when they engage in securities trades. Months later he amended his records to reflect the purchases.

The Republican lawmaker's purchases, which total approximately $120,000, pale in comparison to former Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue's controversial stock sales. However, Crenshaw's transactions were only discovered when he amended his annual report back in December.

Crenshaw's communications director, Justin Discigil, released a statement defending the lawmaker's actions.

"You're referencing financial disclosures that use a range to report stock purchases, and you're choosing the upper end of the range to come up with that $120,000 figure," Discigil told the publication in an email. "The real number is around $30,000 at most," Discigil said, and "in no way were his purchases unethical or related to official business."

Despite the statement, the Beast notes that the timing creates the biggest discrepancy. Ben Edwards, a University of Las Vegas Nevada professor and a security law expert, explained the issues with Crenshaw's transactions.

"Members of Congress should not be actively trading securities in the middle of a crisis. It shows that when the market crashes, that person is thinking about themselves and using the volatility to their own advantage," said Edwards. "We all have a limited amount of attention, and if you've got [an] eye on your stock portfolio, then you're not giving that crisis or the American people the full attention they demand."

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