White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that President Joe Biden will leave members of Congress to determine rules for the trading of stocks in individual firms.
Over the past several weeks, lawmakers have been debating additional sanctions for colleagues who hold assets in publicly-traded companies while in office. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA), and others have proposed legislation that would stop lawmakers and their spouses from holding, buying, or selling individual stocks.
On Tuesday, Psaki responded to a question about President Biden’s views on insider trading rules.
“The President didn’t trade individual stocks when he was a senator, that is how we approached things,” Psaki said. “He also believes that everyone should be held to the highest standard, but he’ll let the leadership in Congress … determine what the rule should be.”
The Biden family’s own alleged dealings, however, have raised eyebrows. One 2017 email found on Hunter Biden’s laptop included the question “10 held by H for the big guy?” An ex-business partner of Hunter claimed, “the big guy” referred to Joe Biden.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) — whose husband, Paul Pelosi, frequently trades large volumes of assets — has also dodged questions as to why lawmakers should be allowed to trade individual stocks.
“Madam Speaker, Insider just completed a five‑month investigation finding that 49 Members of Congress and 182 senior Congressional staffers have violated the STOCK Act, the insider trading law,” said a reporter. “I’m wondering if you have any reaction to that.”
“No, I don’t — no, to the second one. Any — we have a responsibility to report in the stock — on the stock,” Pelosi responded. “But I don’t — I’m not familiar with that five month review, but if the people aren’t reporting, they should be.”
“Why shouldn’t they be banned?” the reporter continued.
“Because this is a free market and people — we are a free market economy,” Pelosi replied. “They should be able to participate in that.”
Podcast host Joe Rogan later slammed Pelosi for the remarks.
“They make their money when they get out,” Rogan said of politicians after they leave office. “What it is is [it’s] like an investment, if you get out you will have money for speaking engagements with all the companies that you helped, all the companies that you like, ‘Hey, I like you. I like you. Let’s hang out, let’s party.’ They’re like, ‘Hey, Mike. Mike the former president, we’d love to have you come speak at our conference, and we’re willing to pay you a half a million dollars.’ So this [it’s] like weird bribes.”
“She’s giving this like very simplistic, almost vague answer,” Rogan said after watching Pelosi’s comments. “Because should you be allowed to participate in the stock market when you’re influencing the direction of the stock or when you know which direction something’s going to go in? Or when you’re going to pass a law that’s going to benefit these businesses, that’s going to force the stock to go up, and you know that, so you invest a sh*t ton of money before it happens? That seems like a problem. That seems like it’s a problem. Now why is that not a problem? Because we’re f***ing co-opted.”