Questions are flying about a large Tesla investment made by the spouse of Nancy Pelosi shortly preceding President Biden’s announcement of a project to make all federal vehicles electric.
A watchdog organization is taking aim at a market purchase in January made by Paul Pelosi, a venture capitalist who supposedly bought up to $1 million worth of Tesla when the value of the stock was about $640 per share. The stock’s price rose last week almost $200 per share, ending Thursday at $838 per share.
“It’s corrupt for lawmakers, especially the speaker, to buy and sell stocks in companies that benefit or suffer from their actions in DC,” said John Pudner, leader of TakeBack.org, a conservative organization focusing on money-based corruption.
“Elected officials from all parties should meet the ethics standards that normal Americans view as vital to the nation,” he said.
According to a recent disclosures filed by Pelosi, the husband-wife pair made 25 market moves, which are called call options, letting her purchase Tesla at $500 a share up to March 2022. The amount was up to $1 million, it was reported.
A spokesman for Pelosi claimed her husband made the Tesla move and her relationship with the White House was not relevant.
Lawmakers are not allowed to use non-public information to profit from the markets. This is due to the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act. This law also enforces this same rule to all other federal employees.
“Did she have the advantage of inside knowledge that Biden was planning to replace the federal fleet with electric vehicles?” Matt Margolis from PJ Media wrote.
“That would be hard to prove,” he said, going on to say that the president’s ‘green’ agenda might have caused people to invest in these technologies. “But that doesn’t mean the purchase is less suspicious, and an investigation is very much warranted here.”
James Trusty, a former prosecutor who currently specializes in insider trading, said a total ban on trading by lawmakers would be the best option.
“Even if the charges are not provable, the timing of these trades along with potential inside information seems terrible,” Trusty said to reporters. “The best option for removing the problem would be a blanket regulation that while you’re in office, there is no trading at all, that way there is no temptation to use your inside information.”