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Congress claims it can make insider trades and there's nothing anyone can do about it

By Heyes: (NaturalNews) Little by little, over more than a century, Americans have slowly lost control over their government. Today, average Americans exert little influence, if any at all, over their elected leaders, even though they make up 99 percent of the electorate.

Despite the fact that wide majorities oppose Obamacare, it remains the law of the land.

Despite the fact that wide majorities oppose amnesty for illegal aliens, one executive order from President Obama has essentially instilled it as official U.S. government policy.

Despite the fact that America was founded as "the land of the free," hundreds of thousands of government regulations foisted upon us by nameless, faceless, unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats says otherwise.

And now, Congress has gone full-blown rogue, excusing itself from every law it passes that We the Plebes must abide by.

That now includes insider trading.

"Laws for the little people, but not for us"

As reported by The Intercept:

In a little-noticed brief filed last summer, lawyers for the House of Representatives claimed that an SEC investigation of congressional insider trading should be blocked on principle, because lawmakers and their staff are constitutionally protected from such inquiries given the nature of their work.

The legal team for the House Ways and Means Committee -- the congressional panel that writes tax law -- was led by Kerry W. Kirchner, appointed by House General Counsel by Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in 2011. He claimed that the insider-trading investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission violated the separation of powers between the Legislative and Executive branches.

The case stems, in part, from a piece of legislation passed by members of Congress in 2012; the STOCK Act. The legislation was meant to curb insider trading, ironically enough, for lawmakers and staff.

"We all know that Washington is broken and today members of both parties took a big step forward to fix it," said Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, upon passage of the law. "Put simply -- it's wrong for any politician to use his political office for personal gain -- that includes using insider information."

But, as the SEC moved with its first major investigation of political insider trading, the very same lawmakers then moved to block that investigation. Can't have government policing itself; laws against illegal, unethical enrichment are for the little people.

In particular, The Intercept noted, the agency's investigation focused in on how Brian Sutter -- at the time a staffer for the House Ways and Means Committee -- allegedly passed along info about a pending Medicare decision to a lobbyist, who in turn shared the tip with other firms.

That led top hedge funds to use the tip for trades on health insurance stocks affected by the soon-to-be-announced Medicare decision.

In court papers, Kirchner and his team called the SEC's investigation a "remarkable fishing expedition for congressional records," further claiming that the agency had no power to subpoena Sutter.

"Communications with lobbyists, of course, are a normal and routine part of Committee information-gathering," the Kirchner team brief continued, arguing that there "is no room for the SEC to inquire into the Committee's or Mr. Sutter's purpose or motives."

There are occasional hints

As The Intercept further noted:

Wall Street investors routinely hire specialized "political intelligence" lobbyists in Washington to get insider knowledge of major government decisions so that they may make trades using the information. But little is known about the mechanics of political intelligence lobbying, which falls outside the scope of traditional lobbying law, and therefore does not show up in mandatory lobbying disclosure reports.

But there are occasional hints -- some subtle, some not so subtle. For instance, personal finance forms, congressional travel forms and other documents often provide clues as to how political operatives and elitists interact, such as being appointed to important government posts after, say, working for key political intelligence firms.

Also, many have questioned how a number of lawmakers enter public office as paupers but exit those same offices years later as multimillionaires.

Congress, it would seem, doesn't want you to find out how these pathways to riches operate. But what more should we expect of today's elected leaders when too many Americans (and American media) are more concerned about whether a renowned NFL quarterback (Tom Brady) cheated than whether a potential president (Hillary Clinton) hid communications she is required, by law, to keep public?

Sources:

https://firstlook.org

https://www.documentcloud.org

https://www.numbersusa.com

http://www.realclearpolitics.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/049744_Congress_insider_trading_Securities_Ex...