Prior to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and the levying of numerous sanctions on Russia by the U.S., members of Congress purchased defense and energy stocks. Here’s a look at the trades.
What Happened: A report from Unusual Whales highlights that numerous members of Congress purchased stocks in the defense and energy sectors prior to sanctions being placed on Russia.
“Many are on committees privy to private information, including defense and energy,” UnusualWhales tweeted. “Many had not purchased energy plays before.
Here is a look at the trades:
- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene: Chevron Inc CVX, Lockheed Martin LMT, NextEra Energy Inc NEE
- Rep. Robert Wittman: SPDR Select Energy Fund XLE
- Rep. Mark Green: Energy Transfer LP ET, EnLink Midstream LLC ENLC
- Rep. Virginia Foxx: Plains All American Pipeline LP PAA, PPL Corp PPL, Philips 66 PSX
Why It’s Important: The purchases by Greene were made one day before the invasion of Ukraine, according to the report.
“War and rumors of war is incredibly profitable and convenient,” Greene tweeted on Feb. 23.
The revelation that Greene bought a stock like Lockheed Martin prior to the invasion didn’t sit well with colleagues.
“Add this to the list of why members of Congress should never be allowed to trade stocks,” Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted.
A bipartisan push is underway to ban members of Congress from owning and trading stocks while in office, but there is no official bill to vote on yet.
“In related news, we’ve heard that we’re soon getting a hearing date on banning members of Congress from trading individual stock while in office. There’s still a lot of resistance in Congress, though. Keep pushing,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, referencing Greene’s trade.
UnusualWhales highlights that many of these members of Congress had never bought or sold energy stocks prior to taking positions before sanctions, and now an import ban, were placed on Russia.
“Politicians are making multiple trades on private information, expecting a rally. This is inexcusable,” UnusualWhales said.
With a 45-day window to disclose stock transactions, there is still a chance that more unusual trades prior to the sanctions and Russia’s invasion are reported by members of Congress.
From Dec. 1, 2020 to Dec. 22, 2021, members of Congress bought and sold $296 million in stocks. A total of more than 3,500 transactions from 105 members of Congress were tracked in an annual report by UnusualWhales.
Members of Congress beat the market on average, outpacing the 13.6% gain for the S&P 500.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, and her staff. Photo via Wikimedia.
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