Keith Chu (202) 224-4515
Wyden Refers Questionable Ross Stock Trades to Justice Department for Investigation
WASHINGTON — Following serious concerns raised by federal ethics officials about questionable stock trades by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today formally requested a Justice Department investigation whether the trades violated federal law.
The Office of Government Ethics wrote late last week that Ross’s violations of his ethics agreement – including failing to sell stocks and opening new short sale positions of other stocks “created the potential for a serious criminal violation” and “could have placed [Ross] in a position to run afoul of the primary criminal conflict of interest law.”
“The top federal ethics watchdog confirmed what anyone with eyes and ears already knew: Wilbur Ross’s stock trades seriously compromised his ability to act in America’s best interests, and may have broken the law,” Wyden said. “In light of this report, the Justice Department should conduct a thorough investigation to ensure that Ross was working on behalf of the American people and not just his own bank account.”
Wyden questioned Ross last month about the timing and circumstances of his stock trades. Read Sec. Ross’s response to Wyden’s questions here.
Read Wyden’s full letter to the Justice Department here.
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