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Rangel Inquisitor Has His Own Reporting Problem

McCaul Fails to Properly Disclose Transactions Worth Millions of Dollars on Financial Disclosure Forms

Editor’s Note: This article contains updated information not included in the print edition.

Rep. Michael McCaul, one of the richest Members of Congress, appears to have failed to fully disclose dozens of stock transactions worth millions of dollars on his annual financial disclosure reports for 2008 and 2009.

McCaul is the ranking member overseeing the ethics trial of Rep. Charlie Rangel, which is set to begin this month on charges that, among other things, the New York Democrat failed to report or misreported numerous assets or income on his financial disclosure forms between 1998 and 2008.

A Roll Call analysis of McCaul’s annual reports found the Texas Republican did not fully detail the 2008 sale of Clear Channel stocks owned by his spouse, including the date of the transaction.

McCaul spokesman Mike Rosen said Friday that the lawmaker believes he has filed accurate forms. But after his office reviewed the version of the story that appears in Monday’s newspaper, McCaul released a statement Sunday that acknowledged the forms were wrong but blamed the errors on the accounting firm that prepares his report.

“We have honestly and accurately fully disclosed all of our finances. We have always been open and transparent with all of our transactions and have provided complete, full financial disclosure through our accountant to Millan & Company, which prepares our Personal Financial Disclosures,” McCaul said in the statement.

“Our PFDs were submitted to and approved by the Ethics Committee. Millan & Company made clerical errors and has taken full responsibility for them. It is common for members of Congress to amend their Personal Financial Disclosures and we look forward to correcting these clerical errors immediately,” McCaul said.

McCaul also provided a Sept. 12 letter to the lawmaker from accountant Richard Millan, in which Millan apologizes for “inadvertent and unintentional spread sheet cut-off clerical errors.” The lawmaker criticized Roll Call’s decision to report the story as “irresponsible” after his office was unable to address the apparent errors before press time Friday.

Members of Congress are required to disclose investment accounts, individual stocks and other assets, such as rental properties, on their annual forms. Members must sign a signature page, which is not publicly released, certifying that their forms are “true, complete and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.”

Those annual reports require Members to detail each asset, including the account’s end-of-year value, as well as whether they earned any income. In a separate section of the reports, Members are also required to detail any transactions, including a date of a purchase or sale, and the total value of the transaction, not only the profit.

On his 2008 report, McCaul stated that his spouse, Linda McCaul, owned multiple stakes in Clear Channel, the media conglomerate founded by her father, Lowry Mays. The report indicated McCaul’s wife owned stock in Clear Channel both as an individual and via a family partnership.

McCaul indicated that his wife’s individually held stock, which he valued in 2007 at a minimum of $5 million, sold in 2008 and earned $1 million to $5 million in income. He listed the stock with no value at the end of 2008.

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