Biden’s Energy Secretary Lied: GOP Demands Investigation

After Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm admitted to lying about her stock ownership, Wyoming Republican Sen. John Barrasso publicly sought an inspector general investigation. 

On Wednesday, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member John Barrasso wrote to Department of Energy (DOE) Inspector General Teri Donaldson to investigate Jennifer Granholm’s financial missteps. Despite her previous testimony and representations, Granholm admitted behind closed doors on Friday that she possessed individual stocks.

Barrasso wrote to Donaldson that the public’s faith in Secretary Granholm and the Department of Energy had been fouled by her serial violations of existing financial rules and regulations and her disrespect for ethical norms.

He went on to say that cabinet members needed to take improper behavior seriously, protect the honor of their offices, and bring authorities to account when they disobey the law. Barrasso courteously requested the Department of Energy to investigate the allegations of wrongdoing.

Granholm told Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley under oath on April 20 – before the Energy and Natural Resource Committee – that she did not invest in individual stocks.

Granholm disclosed in a letter to the committee’s chairman on Friday that she and her husband owned shares in six unnamed firms totaling $2,457.89. 

According to Granholm’s letter last Friday, she sold her husband’s Ford stock on May 15 and her previous remaining shares of stock individually on May 18. She vowed to detail the stock transactions in her upcoming annual financial transparency report.

In his letter to the DOE inspector general, Barrasso also mentioned Granholm’s support for Ford projects and continued investment in electric vehicle producer Proterra. While doing so, the White House violated the STOCK Act nine times by failing to disclose stock sales totaling $240,000 within the statutory timeframe and found guilty of violating the Hatch Act.

According to Barrasso’s Friday statement, Secretary Granholm deceived the committee regarding her family’s financial interests because she did not comply with fundamental ethical and transparency laws. He explained that this is a worrying trend that can’t be tolerated.

On Tuesday, Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley announced his own investigation into Granholm’s finances, writing a letter to her demanding answers about why it took four weeks to sell her shares in the six unnamed companies and why she didn’t immediately alert the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee when she realized the disclosure error.

He also asked Granholm to supply the committee with a detailed accounting of her stock trades from the past decade so that they could assess the potential for further conflicts of interest.

According to the letter Hawley sent to Granholm, she had already told him and the committee three times that she didn’t have any stock holdings of her own. That, however, has been proved false. On April 20, 2023, during her appearance before the committee, Granholm disclosed to members that she was a stockholder in six companies.

Hawley was curious as to why Granholm sold off these equities on May 18, 2023, and didn’t tell the committee about it until last Friday, more than three weeks after the hearing and seven weeks following the stocks being sold. 

Department of Energy Director of Public Affairs David Mayorga issued a vigorous defense of Granholm after Hawley’s letter to the agency.

According to Mayorga, Secretary Granholm always has the best interests of the United States in mind. Secretary Granholm is committed to the highest ethical behavior and openness standards and has sold any potentially conflicting assets she was aware of before her confirmation.