Biden’s Energy Secretary Admits Owning Stocks Despite Earlier Denial

The Biden administration’s Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has confessed to owning individual stocks, contradicting her previous statement to Congress. Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) accused Granholm of misleading the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee during her testimony, leading to a public outcry among conservative circles.

Granholm’s admission came in the form of a letter addressed to the committee, where she acknowledged that she and her husband had indeed held stocks in companies that fell under her department’s jurisdiction. She clarified that she had mistakenly stated that she did not own any individual stocks when she should have emphasized that she did not possess conflicting stocks.

“In order to make my financial holdings consistent with my testimony, on May 18, 2023, I divested my remaining stock holdings which consisted of stock in six companies, even though these assets were deemed non-conflicting,” she wrote.

Expressing his disappointment, Hawley took to Twitter to criticize Granholm for her deception. In April, he had clearly asked the secretary if she held any stocks, to which she answered a “no,” stating that she only held mutual funds.

“So Granholm lied to me on April 20 — and it took the administration six full weeks to admit it,” he tweeted.

Hawley went further to call for the prevention of stock ownership by lawmakers and government officials. “It is time to ban all senior executive branch officials and all members of Congress from owning and trading stock,” he said.

This incident is not the first time Hawley has raised concerns regarding politicians’ stock trading activities. He previously introduced legislation aimed at prohibiting executive senior officials and their spouses from owning stocks. 

Additionally, he came up with the PELOSI Act to prevent members of Congress and their family members from engaging in stock trading after reports emerged of Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, making significant investments in a semiconductor company just as legislation was being passed to subsidize the industry.

As the controversy surrounding Granholm’s stock ownership unfolds, questions regarding the integrity and transparency of high-ranking officials’ financial activities persist. The recent revelation surrounding Granholm’s stock holdings follows a Wall Street Journal report that shed light on the ownership of stocks by senior officials within the Energy Department.

The report revealed that approximately one-third of these officials possessed stocks directly related to the agency’s work, triggering warnings from federal ethics officials regarding potential conflicts of interest.

According to the Journal’s analysis, more than 130 officials in the Energy Department conducted approximately 2,700 trades involving shares, bonds, and options in companies that were deemed relevant to their agency’s operations. This disclosure raises concerns about the potential influence of personal financial interests on decision-making within the department.

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