One Republican lawmaker targeted specifically in a recent "60 Minutes" piece on congressional insider trading fired back on Wednesday, writing the letter to the author of a book that prompted the piece to dispute its claims.
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was alleged to have traded stocks after he was told by Treasury officials in September of 2008 of the impending financial meltdown. The type of insider information that Bachus allegedly received was not available to the general public at the time. The reporting done in “60 Minutes” is based on a book by conservative author Peter Schweizer called “Throw Them All Out.”
Since then, Bachus sent a letter to the publisher of the book and vehemently denied any wrong doing. On the charges that he traded on insider information, Bachus says:
"But above all, the book's insidious allegation that I personally profited from non-public information is a total lie. The author dramatically refers to a "secretive" meeting on September 18, 2008 I attended along with several other members of Congress and alleges I used information from that meeting in making investments the next day. This meeting was so "secretive" that members of the press knew about it beforehand, were waiting outside the door, and a press conference was held immediately after the meeting to inform the public about what we discussed."
In an interview with NBC News, Bachus made a point to say he’s been a lifetime successful trader, citing money he made to put himself through law school: “I paid for law school by investing in the stock market. Did I have any insider information back then? What I do, is I read. I do research.”
When asked if the “60 Minutes” piece was a hit job, Bachus said, “Yeah, what they did is say I shorted the financial markets…you don’t think my 2010 opponent would have said that if he’d found it in his research?”
Bachus said he was a target because “I was chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and I made money.”
He continued, “I’ve never made trades based on knowledge that wasn’t available to the general public.”
On Tuesday night, Bachus was slated to appear on the CNBC Show “The Kudlow Report” alongside Schweizer to talk about the author’s allegations. According to the show’s producers, Schweizer informed them he would not appear on the show, 10 minutes before air.