House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) predicted Friday that he would be cleared of charges that he violated insider trading laws.
“I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight. I respect the congressional ethics process. I have fully abided by the rules governing members of Congress and look forward to the full exoneration this process will provide,’’ he said in a statement.
Bachus, whose panel has jurisdiction over legislation that affects credit unions and banks, was responding to a report in Friday’s Washington Post that the Office of Congressional Ethics is opening an investigation of some of the lawmaker’s stock trades of last year.
The article said that the office is investigating “whether Bachus violated Securities and Exchange Commission laws that prohibit individuals from trading stocks and options based on ‘material, non-public’ inside information.’’
The office doesn’t have subpoena power. It can turn over its findings to the House Ethics Committee. In the past two weeks, the House and Senate have passed a measure that bans lawmakers and staff members from making trades based on non-public information.
The House and Senate versions are slightly different so they will need to have a conference committee to reconcile the differences.
Bachus, who has been the chairman of the Financial Services Committee since last January, has already announced he will step down from the post at the end of the year. He said he won’t seek a waiver of the House Republicans’ rules limiting someone to a total of six years as chairman or ranking member of a committee.