President Joe Biden’s energy secretary, Jennifer Granholm, reportedly violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, according to a Business Insider analysis of her financial disclosure documents.
Granholm’s financial reports revealed nine stock trades made between April 30, 2021, and October 26, 2021. Granholm sold shares of rideshare company Uber, real estate company Redfin, and biopharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences Inc. Gilead Sciences has a hefty government contract, and they also developed remdesivir, a treatment for the coronavirus.
However, Granholm’s disclosure of the trades to the Office of Government Ethics did not comply with the STOCK Act.
The STOCK Act requires executive branch officials to disclose their trades within 30 days of the transaction. However, Granholm reportedly took weeks or months to disclose her trades.
Ironically, Granholm called out Republicans for their alleged lack of transparency in the past. “Conduct the people’s business in the OPEN. Where’s the transparency you campaigned on @realDonaldTrump?” she tweeted about former President Donald Trump in 2017.
Why hide names of visitors? Conduct the people's business in the OPEN. Where's the transparency you campaigned on @realDonaldTrump?
— Jennifer Granholm (@JenGranholm) April 14, 2017
Congress passed the STOCK Act in 2012 after Breitbart News senior contributor Peter Schweizer released Throw Them All Out, which exposed corruption among political officials.
A spokesperson for the Department of Energy declined to explain why the secretary’s disclosures were late but said her financial holdings “are in compliance with the law.”
Although violations of the STOCK Act generally come with a $200 fine, Business Insider reported it is “unclear whether Granholm has paid any penalty.”
Former Obama-era Ethics director Walter Shaub criticized Granholm for claiming not to know of the stock trades. “She’s saying that she only just learned of the transactions … so it’s possible the ethics officials took that statement at face value,” Shaub said.
Granholm was the subject of recent controversy after promoting Proterra, an electric vehicle company. She sat on the board of Proterra and held over a million dollars worth of company stock before selling her shares. Granholm, whom the U.S. Senate confirmed in February 2021, sold her shares on May 24, 2021, as required by the law.
While in office, Granholm promoted the company, which critics argued increased the company’s visibility, therefore increasing the stock value.