Hawley Grills Energy Secretary On Her Confirmed Insider Trading

During a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) called out President Joe Biden’s energy secretary for blatantly violating the STOCK Act numerous times, as well as the Hatch Act.

The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act bars lawmakers and officials from using non-public information for private profit, otherwise known as insider trading. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has been found to have violated this law nine separate times, according to a watchdog report. She was also found to have violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits public officials from being involved in political activities, several times.

During the tense exchange, Hawley accused Granholm of “institutional corruption,” while the energy secretary claimed that her repeated violations of federal law were a “mistake.”

Hawley began by pointing out that these crimes are rampant in the Energy Department, noting that the last time Granholm appeared before the Senate, he had spoken to her about “the fact that more than 130 officials in the Energy Department reported more than 2,700 trades of shares, bonds, and options, and companies that ethics officers said were directly related to the agency’s work.”

He declared this to be “institutionalized corruption” and pointed out that Granholm had lied to him about her own insider trading during her last appearance, stating: “I asked you point blank if you own any individual stock, and you told me no.”

“It turns out that was false. You owned multiple individual stocks, and you neglected to report them to this committee for months afterwards. Why did you mislead this committee?” Hawley asked.

Granholm claimed that she had “believed that I had sold all individual stocks, and I was incorrect, so I came back.”

Hawley did not allow her to get away with dismissing his concerns, questioning how she was unaware of her illegal actions.

She then claimed that she had corrected the problem as soon as she discovered it, but Hawley refuted her claims, stating: “That’s not true either. Let’s just look at the timeline. You testified you didn’t own any individual stocks, you didn’t sell the stocks for another month, and after you sold the stocks, you waited another month before you informed this committee.”

“Why did you mislead us, and what were you hiding?” he asked.

Granholm continued to lie about immediately correcting the problem and informing the committee, to which Hawley asked: “Really? What explains the delay? Why did you wait for a full month to explain your actions to this committee?”

She again tried to dismiss his concerns, claiming that it was “less than a month” and that she “sent a letter explaining what happened” — which still doesn’t explain the delay. She also refused to name five of the six stocks she sold, stating that one was Ford and the rest were simply “non-conflicting stocks.”

“You’re here before this committee a year later after actively misleading us after denying and delaying, and now you won’t tell us?” Hawley fired back. “You sat on the board of directors at Protera. You made millions. And then you promoted Protera stock and Protera products as Energy Secretary. Was that one of the stocks that you sold?”

Granholm vehemently denied the allegation, but Hawley continued to push her: “Really? You are presiding over institutionalized corruption in your energy department. You have violated the Stock Act nine separate times. You have been referred by the Inspector General for violations of the Hatch Act.”

“It is institutionalized corruption that you are now the face of! I just want to know who really runs the Energy Department. Is it you, or is it the mega-corporations whose stock that you own that you’re making profits?” he continued, adding: “Or maybe it’s the foreign billionaires who fund your conferences. Do you know the names of the foreign billionaires who fund the conferences you go to since you don’t know the stocks?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” she replied.

Hawley then called her out for not taking responsibility for her crimes, concluding the exchange by calling for her to be ousted from her position.

“Madam Secretary, all I have to say is this record is just deplorable. It is outrageous that hundreds of officers in the Energy Department are trading shares. It is outrageous that you misled us…This has got to change, and frankly, you should go,” he said.

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