Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is demanding Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm appear before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources to address “false statements” made during her recent committee testimony. Granholm had denied she held individual stocks in companies with issues that come under her agency’s jurisdiction.
“I write in response to Secretary Granholm’s letter to the committee dated June 9, 2023, admitting that she made false statements concerning her ownership of individual stocks,” Hawley wrote in a letter to Committee Chairman Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. “Secretary Granholm needs to return to the committee to correct the record and clarify her compliance — and the entire Department’s compliance — with federal ethics laws. I urge you to schedule an oversight hearing as soon as practicable to investigate this matter.”
According to Hawley’s letter, Granholm testified in front of the committee in April and told members that she did not own individual stocks but was invested in mutual funds instead.
Hawley said Granholm admitted in her letter to the committee that she did own individual stocks in six different companies at that time but has since divested her stake in them.
“But she elected not to apprise this committee of her misstatement or her stock transactions until this month — seven weeks after the hearing and three weeks after she sold her stocks,” Hawley wrote.
Hawley pointed to previous media reports, including a report from Insider, stating Granholm may have violated conflict-of-interest laws in 2021 when she sold about $240,000 in stocks from the biomedical company Gilead Sciences Inc., which made the COVID-19 drug remdesivir; the gig transportation company Uber; and the Redfin real estate firm.
“The Department of Energy’s ethics office has certified that based on her reports, Secretary Granholm’s financial holdings are in compliance with the law,” Department of Energy spokeswoman Charisma Troiano wrote in an email to Insider at the time.
While those companies may have not had a direct conflict with her agency’s jurisdiction, the report said she did not report the transactions within a 30-day timeline.
“She’s saying that she only just learned of the transactions … so it’s possible the ethics officials took that statement at face value,” former Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub told the news outlet. “Why didn’t she know about the transactions at the time?”
The Washington Free Beacon reported in April 2021 that Granholm owned up to $5 million in stock in a company that makes electric cars and their batteries, which she helped President Joe Biden promote after the $1.9 trillion infrastructure became law.
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