Trump-backed Joe Kent, who is challenging Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in the Republican primary, broke federal law by improperly disclosing his personal finances.

Joe Kent, candidate for Congress from the state of Washington, in front of the US Capitol.

Joe Kent, Republican primary candidate for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, spoke at a Justice for J6 rally near the Capitol in Washington on September 18. The rally was planned by allies of former President Donald Trump and was aimed at supporting the so-called “political prisoners” of the January 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill.Nathan Howard/AP

  • Joe Kent was months late in publicly disclosing his personal finances as required by federal law.

  • His campaign blamed unspecified “technical issues” for the delay.

  • Congress is considering a review of the laws that govern lawmakers’ personal finances.

Joe Kent, a Donald Trump-endorsed running for Congress, he violated a federal law by not publicly disclosing his personal finances for months, and only did so after being asked questions by Insider about his missing records.

Kent is running against Republican Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a six-term lawmaker from southwestern Washington state who voted to impeach Trump in January 2021. His campaign blamed unspecified “technical issues” for the months-long delay.

“There have been some technical issues getting access to the credentials required to file our House Ethics Committee report, and we hope to resolve that issue shortly,” Kent spokesman Matt Braynard told Insider earlier this year.

By law, candidates for Congress may file their personal financial disclosures through the U.S. House of Representatives electronic filing system or on paper by mail or hand delivery to the Capitol. Kent, a former Green Beret who works at a tech startup, finally filed his personal financial statement. divulge in February.

His filed disclosure said he earned $105,000 in 2021 from a full-time job and about $204,000 from a combination of his US Army pension, US Veterans Administration disability payments, and benefits. of survivor related to the death of his wife. Shannon Kenta US Navy cryptologist who was delicate in a suicide attack during a mission in Syria.

Kent also disclosed a $40,000 advance for a book he is writing about his late wife. His disclosure said he would receive another $40,000 upon publication of the book, which is scheduled for late 2022.

He reported that he owned no stocks or bonds.

AP_jaime herrera beutler

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Washington, faces a strong Republican primary challenge from Joe Kent.Al Drago / Pool via AP

Kent has been running against Herrera Beutler since early 2021, and his campaign raised nearly $1.4 million during 2021, Federal Election Commission records He showed. His recent fundraising efforts included a event at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where tickets started at $1,000.

A candidate for Congress must file his or her financial statement, which details personal investments, debts, employment and secondary income, shortly after raising or spending $5,000 in campaign cash, according to house ethics guidelines and federal law.

Kent passed that threshold in the middle of last year, FEC records He showed.

The standard fine issued by the US House of Representatives. late personal financial disclosure the filing is $200, payable to the US Treasury.

But a candidate who “knowingly and willfully falsifies a statement or fails to file a statement” may be subject to investigation by the Justice Department.

While such investigations are rare, the maximum civil penalty for such a crime is $66,190while the maximum criminal sanction is one year in federal prison plus a fine of up to the same amount, according to the Federal Ethics in Government Act.

Herrera Beutler’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Kent’s belated filing follows Insider’s post Congress in conflict project, which found that 57 members of Congress and at least 182 senior Congress attendees had in recent months violated the federal Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 with late or missing financial disclosures.

It also identified dozens of legislators whose personal stock trading conflicted with their public responsibilities as members who crafted anti-smoking policies but invested in tobacco giantsand others who received praise from environmental groups for crafting policies aimed at combating the climate crisis are still invested in fossil fuel companies.

The House Administration Committee has scheduled for March 16 hearing on whether to bar members of Congress, and perhaps others, such as lawmakers’ spouses, from trading individual stocks.

Read the original article at Business Insider

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