FILE - NJ Tom Malinowski 10-23-2019

U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., prepares for a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing Oct. 23, 2019.

(The Center Square) – U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-N.J., “bought or sold as much as $1 million of stock in medical and tech companies” with “a stake” in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Associated Press reported, citing an analysis of records.

However, Malinowski’s office is pushing back on the report, saying the trades were made by a broker without the congressman’s knowledge. Malinowski “has been a leading voice in demanding transparency from our elected officials,” his office added.

In March, Business Insider reported Malinowski did not disclose at least $671,000 in personal stock trades last year, a potential violation of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act. At least two complaints have been filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics, and The Associated Press reported there is no evidence to suggest Malinowski operated using insider information.

Following a Thursday interview, The Associated Press quoted Malinowski as saying the failure to file disclosures is “a mistake that I own 100%.”

“At no point in the last 25 years have I directed, suggested, or even asked questions about a particular trade being made by my brokerage firm,” Malinowski added, according to the report.

“The charge that Congressman Malinowski abused his office is categorically false,” Malinowski’s office said in a statement. “…These trades were made solely by his broker based on publicly available information and without Congressman Malinowski’s input of prior knowledge.”

In a statement, investment advisor Gagnon Securities said it makes “all trading decisions in discretionary client accounts, and does so based on publicly available information as well as proprietary analysis that forms our investment strategy for all our clients.”

“All trades referenced by AP that were made in Congressman Malinowski’s account in 2020, including all short positions, were made by Gagnon Securities pursuant to its discretionary authority and without Congressman Malinowski’s input or prior knowledge,” the company said.

In 2020, Malinowski narrowly defeated state Senate Republican Minority Leader Thomas Kean Jr. to win reelection. Malinowski’s critics seized the report to attack the congressman, and the topic will assuredly be a campaign issue in 2022.

“A blistering new report out from the Associated Press this morning shows Tom Malinowski’s sketchy efforts to profit off of COVID-19 are much worse than anyone could have imagined,” the Congressional Leadership Fund, a pro-Republican Super PAC, said in a blog post. “...The worst part? Malinowski became a ‘prolific shortseller,’ betting his money against the American companies he was supposed to be rooting for, hoping they’d fail so he could make a quick buck.”