• Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. 
  • That same day, GOP Rep. John Rutherford of Florida purchased stock in Raytheon.
  • Raytheon manufactures two of the missiles that US and NATO allies are sending to Ukraine.
  • Republican Rep. John Rutherford of Florida purchased up to $15,000 in stock in a major defense contractor on the same day that Russia launched  a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 

According to a financial disclosure made public on Wednesday, Rutherford purchased between $1,000 and $15,000 worth of stock in Raytheon corporation on February 24. The stock purchase happened the same day that Rutherford tweeted the US should "leave nothing off the table" in countering Russia. 


Rutherford joins at least 18 other members of Congress who since 2020 have either held shares in Raytheon or Lockheed Martin — or both — or recently traded stock in these companies. The lawmakers stand to personally profit from the Russia-launched war at a time when President Joe Biden just signed into law a spending bill with $6.5 billion in military assistance to help Ukraine during the crisis.  

Rutherford sits on the Appropriations Committee that's in charge of federal government spending. In that role he's on the subcommittee for Homeland Security as well as the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies subcommittee. 

No law prohibits lawmakers from sitting on congressional committees, writing legislation, or voting on bills that might affect them financially. But some members of Congress and outside ethics organization have said they think it's time to change the law to ban members from such investments, saying they present real or perceived problems that raise questions about conflicts of interest. 

Members of Congress are required to report their trades only in broad ranges, making an exact investment difficult to pinpoint.

Rutherford's office did not immediately reply to questions about the Raytheon purchase. The stocks do appear to be part of the congressman's individual retirement account, which Rutherford's office previously said is managed by a third party.

Insider previously reported that at least 15 lawmaker invest in the stock of defense contractors while holding powerful positions on a pair of House and Senate committees that control US military policy. 

Since Rutherford's investment, Biden signed the law that includes billions of dollars in defense aid to Ukraine, and the US and NATO members have also dispatched so-called "fire and forget" missiles to Ukraine. Raytheon manufactures the Stinger missile and co-manufactures the Javelin with Lockheed Martin. 

Rutherford is a former Jacksonville, Florida, sheriff who is in his third term in Congress. He listed 32 other trades on his most recent financial disclosure, and all but the Raytheon investment occurred February 17. Other investments were in oil company Chevron Corporation; real estate investment trust Healthpeak Properties, Inc.; and McDonald's Corporation. 

Rutherford's most recent trades were reported on time, but the congressman has previously been late reporting transactions from 2020.

Under the 2012 Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act, members of Congress have few restrictions on trading individual stocks but must report their trades publicly within 30 to 45 days, depending when they first learned of the trades. 

Members of Congress are personally responsible for complying with the STOCK Act's disclosure provisions regardless of whether they use a financial advisor. In all, 58 members of Congress have violated the STOCK Act after failing to report their stock trades by the deadline. 

The House Committee on Administration is expected to hold a hearing on whether the STOCK Act needs to be updated, though a date hasn't yet been announced since the session was postponed when Democratic panel chair Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California disclosed she had COVID-19.