Former Indiana Congressman Stephen Buyer Was Finally Convicted For Insider Trading
Tom Emmer Is Much Worse-- But Too Powerful To Be Indicted
Stephen Buyer was first elected to represent the Republican suburbs north of Indianapolis in 1992. A right-wing nut and total sleaze-bag, in 2003 he announced he had been reactivated by the U.S. military because of an essential and unique skill that only be possessed (he served in the military as a torturer) and that he was shipping out to Iraq to interrogate Iraqi prisoners. He was granted a paid leave of absence from the House by Denny Hastert. He was lying and hid out in his home in Monticello after his request to reenlist was rejected. The whole thing was hushed up and he slimed his way back into Congress as though nothing had happened. He served as an impeachment manager against Bill Clinton in 1999.
In Congress, he was one of the top defenders of the tobacco industry and claimed that smoking lettuce was as dangerous as smoking tobacco. He was paid well by the tobacco lobbyists and executives for his service and a year after he retired from Congress he went to work as a lobbyist for R.J. Reynolds, pushing smokeless tobacco on children.
Last year he was arrested and with charged insider trading, having had information about the merger discussions going on between T-Mobile and Sprint before they were public. The day after he got the information, he began buying Sprint stock and spent nearly $600,000 buying up Sprint shares ahead of the public announcement. He also passed the information along to close relatives. He made a $100,000 profit when the merger was announced.
The SEC also discovered he bought over a million in Navigant stock on an insider tip and made $227,000 when the company was sold.
He was convicted on Friday of charges stemming from the Sprint and Navigant charges and will be sentenced in July. This was only possible because Buyer is a retired congressman. Current members of Congress seem to be immune from even worse examples of malfeasance.
Sam Bankman-Fried basically bribed most of Congress— conservatives from both parties— with over $100 million in funds stolen from FTX clients. And even though he’s awaiting trial, none of the congressmembers he bribed have been charged with anything. Tom Emmer (R-MN) is one of the FTX scandal poster boys. He used FTX money to buy himself a position as Majority Whip (the #3 Republican in the House) after having taken immense sums from FTX (at least $15 million) as head of the NRCC in 2021 and 2022 in return for protecting FTX from regulatory agencies. He was the de facto head of the corrupt, bipartisan Blockchain-8 and worked to preventive SEC from holding FTX accountable. Emmer, and the 7 other Blockchain criminals— Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Ritchie Torres (D-NY), Warren Davidson (R-OH), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Jake Auchincloss (D-MA), Ted Budd (R-NC) and Darren Soto (D-FL). Watch the way Emmer, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, protects the public and “regulates” industries that bribe them:
Last week Brendan Pedersen, reporting for PunchBowl News, wrote that Emmer is still working to prevent effective regulation of the cryptocurrency industry, battling with Michael Barr, a Federal Reserve’s vice chair, after Barr announced that the Fed is putting together a “specialized team of experts” to supervise the crypto industry. Barr, wrote Pedersen, “was unsparing on the risks regulators have seen in the space: ‘Investors do not have the structural protections they have relied on for many decades. As a result, many have been victims of classic cases of fraud and abuse– some appropriately classified as Ponzi schemes under a high-tech veneer.’ None of this should come as a shock. Bank regulators under the Biden administration have taken an increasingly aggressive approach to limiting the banking system’s exposure to digital assets, and the coming liquidation of the crypto-connected Silvergate Bank is just the latest validation of that strategy.”
But… in steps one of Congress’ most corrupt members, the aforementioned Tom Emmer, who Pedersen politely described as “one of crypto’s top boosters in Congress… Emmer told the Cato Institute that the Biden administration was ‘willing to trade Americans’ right to financial privacy’ by exploring a central bank digital currency, which would be a crypto-based version of the U.S. dollar.’… But for Emmer, the greatest risk to crypto– which is to say, to the future of U.S. financial innovation– is too much government involvement. ‘These bureaucrats, with their partners in the private sector who are using the existing two-tier banking system and want to protect it,’ are trying to kill crypto, Emmer said… ‘They realized at some point: It’s here, and it’s not going away. I can’t shut it down. So guess what: I’m going to swallow it up and make it part of what we run, because then, we will control it.’”
We don’t think most of the Republican conference thinks about crypto exactly like the Emmer does right now. Some have argued a U.S. digital dollar could bolster national security, for instance.
But seniority, experience and power can go a long way towards convincing colleagues to think a certain way – especially if it means a united front to oppose Democrats.
Stephen Buyer absolutely belongs in prison— but not nearly as much as Tom Emmer does. Andnot after he retires from Congress and becomes a lobbyist-- NOW.