Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm admitted in a letter Friday that she made a false statement when she recently told lawmakers she didn’t own any individual stocks.
While Granholm divested from a variety of stocks in 2021, she acknowledged in the letter — which was sent to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee leadership — that she maintained shares of six companies. On April 20, however, Granholm testified under oath that she had sold all of her shares of individual companies.
“As you know, as part of the confirmation process before this Committee, in 2021 I divested from assets that could be in conflict with my official duties,” Granholm wrote in the letter obtained by Fox News Digital. “I did, however, retain assets that were determined by Government ethics officials to not conflict with my official duties.”
“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. 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 continued.
Granholm didn’t say in the letter which companies she had owned shares of — and which she divested from on May 18 — but vowed to share that information in her Annual Public Financial Disclosure Report in mid-June.
In addition, Granholm said she discovered on May 13 that her husband Daniel Mulhern owned $2,457.89 worth of shares in Ford Motor Company. Those shares were then sold on May 15, a Monday, when the stock market opened.
Granholm acknowledged she hadn’t disclosed those shares in her two prior Public Financial Disclosure Reports and had mistakenly believed her family’s divestiture of Ford was complete in early 2021. The Ford stock she and her husband held in their retirement accounts had been sold off on March 22, 2021, she said.
“As a public servant, I take very seriously the commitment to hold myself to the highest ethical standards, and I regret the accidental omission of my spouse’s interest in Ford,” Granholm added in the letter. “This is a commitment I made to you, the President, and most importantly the American people.”
“My spouse and I have double-checked our financial assets, and there are no other reportable assets that were omitted from my financial disclosure report,” she concluded.
In response to the letter, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member John Barrasso, R-Wyo., criticized Granholm.
“Secretary Granholm lied to the committee about her family’s stock holdings,” Barrasso said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “This comes after her failure to follow basic ethics and disclosure rules. This is a troubling pattern. It is unacceptable.”
Granholm noted that all of her transactions listed in the letter would be disclosed on a Public Financial Disclosure Periodic Transaction Report in July.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, an Energy Department spokesperson said Granholm remained committed to “the highest ethical standards.”
“The Secretary takes the commitment to uphold the highest ethical standards very seriously, which is why, upon realizing a comment made in error, the Secretary moved quickly to divest non-conflicting assets along with an asset held by her spouse of which she was previously unaware,” the spokesperson said.
“The letter submitted to Congress clarifying the record underscores the Secretary’s commitment to transparency and to leading a DOE that puts the interests of the American people above all else.”
E&E News first reported the letter.
Scroll down to leave a comment: