In response to the news that multiple U.S. senators sold stock after receiving classified briefings on the COVID-19 pandemic, Issue One Executive Director Meredith McGehee released the following statement:
“This is outrageous, and it’s a violation of the public’s trust. The reason elected officials get classified information is to make better decisions for the health and welfare of the public, not make more money for themselves and their donors. This kind of behavior undermines the trust people have in their politicians, and it’s deeply disturbing to see at a time when we need our public officials to be at their best.
“Legislators using their position of power or insider knowledge for personal profit is wrong, full stop. This is the exact reason why we have laws like the STOCK Act, which Congress would do well to revisit and strengthen. And this is also why members of Congress are strongly encouraged to divest from their assets when taking office, or at the very least, put their holdings into a qualified blind trust to avoid corruption or the appearance of corruption.
“Issue One has long maintained that high ethical standards in Congress are a cornerstone of a functioning political system that earns the public’s trust. We have championed improved ethics rules in Congress, called out bad actors in our system, and held accountable the current enforcement mechanisms in place.”