Top Biden Administration Official Admits to Lying to Congress

Top Biden Administration Official Admits to Lying to Congress
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm speaks to reporters during a press briefing at the White House on June 22, 2022. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Zachary Stieber

A top official in the Biden administration has admitted to lying to Congress when she claimed to not own individual stocks.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, a Biden appointee, told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on April 20 that she invested only in mutual funds and didn’t own any individual stocks.

Granholm said in a letter on June 9 to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) that she wasn’t honest during the Capitol Hill appearance.

“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,” she wrote in the missive, which was obtained and reviewed by The Epoch Times.

Granholm said she divested from assets that could be in conflict with her duties as part of being confirmed as energy secretary but that she retained stocks that government ethics officials determined wouldn’t conflict with those duties.

She has since sold those 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,” Granholm wrote.

She didn’t identify the companies. She said they would be identified on her annual disclosure report, which is expected to be available in mid-June.

The Department of Energy and Manchin, the chair of the energy panel, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

“Secretary Granholm lied to the committee about her family’s stock holdings," Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the top Republican on the committee, told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.

“This comes after her failure to follow basic ethics and disclosure rules. This is a troubling pattern. It is unacceptable.”

Granholm violated stock disclosure rules by listing stock sales in 2022 months later than required, which she previously acknowledged to the Senate. She also violated the Hatch Act when she endorsed Democrats while making an official appearance.
She didn’t appear to be under oath when she made the false statement to the panel in April, according to video footage of the hearing. Most witnesses testifying before the Senate aren’t sworn in.

One federal law prohibits witnesses from making false statements under oath that they don’t believe to be true. Another law bars “knowingly and willfully” making false statements “in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States.” Violations of either can land a person up to five years in prison.

The U.S. Department of Justice rarely brings cases against officials who lie, regardless of whether they’re under oath.

Former President Donald Trump became one of the rare exceptions last week when he was charged with making false statements, among other crimes.

The department and the White House didn’t respond to requests for comment.

“Granholm lied to me on April 20—and it took the Administration 6 full weeks to admit it. Brazen,” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who was questioning Granholm when she made the false statement, wrote on Twitter. “It is time to BAN all senior executive branch officials and all members of Congress from owning & trading stock.”

Granholm also disclosed in the new letter that Ford stock her husband and she held in retirement accounts was sold on March 22, 2021, during the confirmation process and that she “believed that the divestiture of Ford was complete.”

But she learned in May that her husband, Daniel Mulhern, continued holding Ford stock in a separate account, she said.

That stock was sold for $2,457.89 on May 15.

“As I was not previously aware of the asset, I did not report my spouse’s financial interest on my two prior Public Financial Disclosure Reports, nor was it included in the other paperwork associated with my nomination,” Granholm wrote.

“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. 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.”

Zachary Stieber is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in Maryland. He covers U.S. and world news. Contact Zachary at [email protected]
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