The State Department released U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry’s financial disclosure documents, only after Fox News pressed the agency multiple times to comply with the requests, according to a report.
The State Department, where Kerry currently works, delayed the release of his financial disclosure forms for weeks before releasing reports to the public, according to Fox News. According to a previous report, Kerry had disclosed millions of dollars in income from finance and energy firms along with his recently liquidated huge stock portfolio in his latest financial filing, including a $5 million salary from Bank of America.
According to Fox News, the news organization first requested Kerry’s financial disclosures on April 9, which they noted are “typically fulfilled in a day or two.” The report added the typical one or two-day return was not complied with, and to this day it is still unclear why.
There were a total of five requests made to obtain the documents before they were finally released, the report showed. An agency spokesperson directed the news organization to contact the same email address where the requests were initially sent. Fox News believes the State Department released the documents only after they “informed” the agency it was preparing a report on the refusal to comply from the Biden administration.
The report shows that Fox News finally obtained copies of the documents on April 29, the same day they reportedly started to write a story on the matter. When asked about the reason for the delay, the agency didn’t return their request for comment.
Additionally, Kerry, who was former President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State, is one of the wealthiest members of the Biden administration. Breitbart News previously reported on other Biden officials who served in the Obama White House and made millions of dollars when they returned to the private sector. Kerry, in between serving in the Obama and Biden administrations, has maintained a reasonably substantial influence over energy and environmental policy.
He has also received millions of dollars in income from financial and energy-related firms and recently liquidated a huge stock portfolio before becoming Biden’s special climate envoy, the report states.
The State Department told Axios last week that Kerry “has divested assets that could pose a conflict of interest, and signed an ethics pledge barring him from participating in specific policymaking decisions that could affect his former clients and employers.”
Kerry’s stock portfolio was reportedly held through a trust which was affiliated with his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry. His wife is the heiress to the well-known Heinz food processing fortune. He liquidated between $4.2 and $15 million last month from his stock holdings.
A federal ethics rule could allegedly let Kerry defer any capital gains taxes from the stock portfolio sales if the money is used to reinvest in assets that are permitted. Axios reported, “it was not immediately clear whether Kerry had done so or planned to.”
A spokesperson for the State Department told Axios: “The State Department’s Ethics Office reviewed Special Presidential Envoy Kerry’s assets and investments upon his appointment to identify holdings that could pose a significant risk of a conflict of interest.”
The spokesperson added, “Special Presidential Envoy Kerry agreed to divest the assets identified by the Ethics Office and has done so.”