Government officials are in the news again for owning stocks, only this time, it’s not members of Congress like Dan Crenshaw and Nancy Pelosi who are the ones at issue. In fact, it’s a member of the legislature who is fighting back against perceived corruption.
That would be Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who is asking the Energy Department’s Inspector General to investigate Biden Energy Department Secretary Jennifer Granholm over her ownership of individual stocks, which she formerly insisted she did not own.
In fact, it was to Sen. Hawley that she made that claim. She told the MAGA-aligned Senator during a hearing that she is only invested in mutual funds, not stocks. That came when Sen. Hawley asked, “Do you own individual stocks, Madam Secretary?” Granholm responded, “No, I’m invested in mutual funds.”
Watch that incident here:
In April, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told Senator @HawleyMO (under oath) that she did not own individual stocks.
She was lying. Today, Granholm admitted she did, in fact, own stock in MULTIPLE companies — including Ford, which falls directly in her jurisdiction. pic.twitter.com/qayLbz131d
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) June 9, 2023
That was a lie, as Secretary Granholm later revealed that she does hold individual stocks, some of which are stocks in companies like Ford and impacted by her agency’s decision-making and rules, which critics allege could influence her decisions.
So, Sen. Hawley came out swinging in a letter demanding an investigation, saying, “Dear Inspector General Donaldson, Thank you for your recent testimony in front of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in which we discussed the Energy Department’s compliance with ethics rules. I write to formally request you open an investigation into Secretary Granholm’s misleading testimony before the Committee about her financial holdings, as well as her repeated violations of federal ethics rules.”
He continued, “I also request you conduct an audit of the Department’s compliance with existing ethics laws to determine whether senior officials own shares in companies they regulate. Secretary Granholm’s most recent violation of federal stock trading laws is just the latest in a series of ethics indiscretions. Prior to her false testimony before the Committee, Secretary Granholm had already violated federal stock disclosure laws nine times.”
Explaining Granholm’s lie, he said, “Then, during her testimony before the Committee on April 20, 2023, Secretary Granholm testified three times, in response to my questions, that she no longer held any stocks. This was not true. At the time, she held stocks in six separate companies. Instead of being forthright about either her continued stock holdings or her misleading testimony, Secretary Granholm waited until May 18, 2023, to sell the remaining stocks she held. Then, she waited several more weeks to inform the Energy Committee that her testimony to us was untrue.”
Continuing, he added, “Secretary Granholm is not the only official at the Energy Department who has traded stocks while in office. As we learned in February of this year, federal employees throughout the Energy Department hold energyrelated stocks.2 I likewise request that, in addition to investigating Secretary Granholm, you conduct an audit of Department of Energy employees to determine whether they are in compliance with ethics rules concerning individual stocks ownership.”
Ending by explaining the larger problem, Sen. Hawley said, “Senior officials have no business trading stocks, especially stocks in the industries they regulate. The repeated ethics violations by Energy Department officials undermine the public’s trust in our government and the rule of law. Thank you for your attention to this important matter. I look forward to your prompt response.”
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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