Sen. Hawley Calls for Energy Secretary Granholm's Resignation Over Stock Trade Violations

Energy Secretary Granholm faces calls to resign over alleged STOCK Act violations, as Sen. Hawley accuses her of misleading Congress about stock ownership and creating "institutionalized corruption" at the DOE.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Sen. Hawley Calls for Energy  Secretary Granholm's Resignation Over Stock Trade Violations

Sen. Hawley Calls for Energy Secretary Granholm's Resignation Over Stock Trade Violations | Image Credit: PHIL NOBLE | Reuters

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is facing calls to resign from Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) over alleged violations of the STOCK Act. During a heated exchange at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on Tuesday, Hawley accused Granholm of failing to properly disclose her stock trades and misleading Congress about her ownership of individual stocks.

Granholm had previously testified under oath that she did not own any individual stocks, but later acknowledged owning shares in six unnamed companies worth up to $120,000. She also revealed that her husband owned $2,457.89 worth of shares in Ford Motor Co. at the time of her initial testimony. Granholm claimed she had mistakenly believed all individual stocks were sold and did not intend to hide the information.

However, Hawley pressed Granholm on the timeline of her stock sales and failure to disclose them to the committee in a timely manner. He cited a watchdog finding that Granholm breached the disclosure provisions of the STOCK Act nine separate times and was accused of violations of the Hatch Act. Granholm struggled to provide details on the specific stocks she owned and sold, only mentioning 'non-conflicting' stocks, including her husband's Ford stock.

Why this matters: The allegations against Granholm raise concerns about transparency and potential conflicts of interest among high-ranking government officials. Violations of the STOCK Act and Hatch Act undermine public trust in the integrity of government decision-making processes.

Hawley also criticized Granholm for allowing senior Department of Energy officials to own stocks related to the agency's work, which he said reveals "institutionalized corruption" in the department. Granholm defended the agency's ethics practices, stating that officials strictly own stocks in companies they do not have influence over.

The controversy surrounding Granholm's stock trades is not new. She was previously criticized for selling $5 million worth of stock in electric bus maker Proterra after serving on the company's board. Hawley questioned whether one of the stocks Granholm recently sold was Proterra, but she did not provide a direct answer.

Hawley concluded the exchange by calling Granholm's record "deplorable" and "outrageous," stating that she should resign for misleading the American people. Granholm disputed the allegations and maintained that the department's ethics office consults with employees about their stocks and potential conflicts of interest. The Energy Secretary now faces mounting pressure to address the alleged violations and restore public confidence in her leadership of the department.

Key Takeaways

  • Energy Sec. Granholm accused of STOCK Act violations, failing to disclose stocks
  • Granholm testified she owned no stocks, later acknowledged owning up to $120K
  • Watchdog found Granholm breached STOCK Act disclosure 9 times, Hatch Act violations
  • Sen. Hawley calls for Granholm's resignation, alleges "institutionalized corruption"
  • Granholm defends ethics practices, says officials avoid conflicts of interest