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Yes, Fauci's financial disclosure is a public record. That doesn't mean it's easy to get

Daniel Desrochers, McClatchy Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON — Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall sent a letter to Dr. Anthony Fauci Thursday demanding his unredacted financial disclosure form, a continuation of this week’s terse exchange that went viral when Fauci called Marshall a “moron.”

In a committee hearing on Tuesday, Marshall asked for Fauci’s financial disclosure form, which Fauci replied was public and available upon request.

“Wouldn’t you agree with me that you see things before members of Congress would see them, so that there’s an air of appearance that maybe some shenanigans are going on?” Marshall said. “I assume that’s not the case.”

Marshall has continued to argue that the documents aren’t public because they aren’t easily accessible.

“It is astonishing to see the liberal media scramble to defend Dr. Fauci by changing the definition of what ‘public’ actually means,” he said. “Dr. Fauci’s financial disclosures for the years of the COVID pandemic are NOT public.”

By definition, the forms are a public record. It means that by law, members of the public have the right to see the information the forms contain. That doesn’t always mean it’s easy for the public to get them.

 

“It’s easier to get this information than other types of information,” said Virginia Canter, the chief ethics counsel for the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “But like any process it can be improved.”

It is relatively easy to get Marshall’s financial disclosure forms, which are also a public record. The U.S. Senate Ethics Committee has a searchable database where people can plug in the name of a current or former Senator and find reports dating back to 2012. They are available for former members for six years after they’ve left office.

The online database, which was required by federal law through the Ethics in Government Act, makes it easy to track down the stock purchases of members, providing accountability if they fail to follow reporting requirements. Earlier this year, Marshall filed late reports about stock trades made by his children (Marshall’s office said they reported the trades as soon as he was made aware of them).

Getting access to Fauci’s financial disclosure form takes a few more steps. The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the agency Fauci heads, said the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has determined that his financial reports and those of other directors at the National Institutes of Health are public because of the nature of their positions.

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