Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is facing new scrutiny over allegations that she lied to Congress.
What is the background?
At a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on April 20, Granholm denied owning individual stocks, telling lawmakers that she is only invested in mutual funds.
Her response came after Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) questioned her about a troubling Wall Street Journal report revealed that a significant number of Energy Department senior officials or their families are invested in companies related to their work at the department.
Hawley Questions Granholm On Personal Stock Trading Violations, Executive Branch Stock Trading Banwww.youtube.com
What is happening now?
On Friday, Granholm sent the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee a letter contradicting her previous testimony.
In fact, at the time of the April hearing when she denied owning stock in individual companies, Granholm's husband actually owned stock in Ford Motor Corporation, a company that works closely with the Energy Department on electric vehicles and new energy technologies.
"I mistakenly told the Committee that I did not own any individual stocks, whereas I should have said that I did not own any conflicting stocks," Granholm wrote in the letter.
"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 explained.
Granholm, however, did not say which companies she had retained stocks in before divesting last month. Instead, she said that information would be provided in her annual financial disclosure report.
Moreover, Granholm claimed she discovered on May 13 that her husband owned owned $2,457.89 worth of shares in Ford Motor Company and sold them on May 15. She said the stock was not disclosed in prior disclosure reports because she thought it had already been sold when she divested in 2021.
What was the reaction?
Republicans are not happy. Hawley, for instance, accused Granholm of having "lied," calling her actions "brazen."
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, agreed with Hawley.
"Secretary Granholm lied to the committee about her family's stock holdings," he said in a statement. "This comes after her failure to follow basic ethics and disclosure rules. This is a troubling pattern. It is unacceptable."
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