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Robert Walker Quoted in Coverage of HHS Nominee’s Investment Transactions

The Wall Street Journal, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 29, 2016

Robert L. Walker, of counsel in Wiley Rein’s Election Law & Government Ethics Practice, was quoted by  The Wall Street Journal and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) in coverage of ethical questions facing Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Rep. Price, who has had an influential role in shaping health legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, has traded in shares of health-related companies over the past four years, the Journal reported in a December 22 article that was cited by the AJC.

Rep. Price’s investments do not appear to have violated insider trading rules, Mr. Walker said. Proving such a violation would require a concrete link between individual stock trades and the transmission of specific, nonpublic information. “That’s a pretty high barrier to meet,” he told the AJC.

But even if a stock transaction is legal, trading can pose “a real risk” for members of Congress, “and that’s why many members choose to give up investing in individual stocks and instead focus their portfolios on mutual funds or other similar investment vehicles,” Mr. Walker told the Journal.

The Wall Street Journal article can be found here (subscription required).