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Should Members of Congress Be Subject to Criminal Insider Trading Laws?

No, and Neither Should Non-Members of Congress!

I am deeply concerned about the allegations that various Members of Congress might have traded on their stock portfolios after meeting with the President about the coronavirus pandemic. It is a political crime if proven; would be a good reason to vote for an opponent. Maybe also even impeachable. (To apply an metaphor from the law – you can impeach a ham sandwich!)

But insider trading is an issue that should not be criminal. Let’s start with the laws that already exist: It is illegal (civil and criminal penalties exist) to trade equities with inside information.

I think there are too many Federal crimes (too many state ones, too.) and I have blogged on this before. Insider trading is best dealt with as a civil matter – a species of fraud – prima facie fraud if the insider or the one with insider information trades the stock. Treble damages and attorney fees.

But not a crime. I can assure you law abuse will occur when the Dems come back to power in DC and they will seek retribution against many Trump era officials through a plethora of laws. Among other laws that could be abused are ones governing bribery of foreign officials (proven to make our companies less competitive abroad) or registration as foreign agents or even money laundering/currency transaction laws. Tax evasion.

The best punishment for these pols if proven is: Vote ’em out. No more law fare. Criminal insider trading laws, for both members of Congress and non-members as well, ought to be repealed. And Martha Stewart ought to be pardoned and a board should be set to see about other cases not involving actual fraud.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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