Barrasso Calls for Inspector General Investigation of Granholm Financial Holdings

June 14, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), sent a letter to Department of Energy Inspector General Teri Donaldson regarding Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s financial holdings. Granholm recently informed the committee that she “mistakenly” provided false information in testimony earlier this year.

The Barrasso letter highlights multiple instances of questionable ethical conduct since the start of her tenure. The letter requests that the Inspector General determine the facts surrounding any impropriety in the matter.

Read the full letter here and below.

Dear Inspector General Donaldson,

I write to formally request an investigation of Secretary Granholm’s misrepresentation of her financial holdings before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (Committee) on April 20, 2023, as well as her failure to disclose her husband’s ownership of conflicting Ford stock.

Secretary Granholm stated for the record that she did not own any individual stocks. However, in her attached June 9, 2023 letter to the Committee, she stated that she did, in fact, own shares of individual stocks in six different companies until her May 18, 2023 sale of these shares.

Additionally, Secretary Granholm’s June 9th letter states her husband retained ownership of Ford stock during a period of time in which she directly promoted Ford and its new Mustang. In June of last year, she stated from her official Twitter account, “Ford is investing $3.7B to add THOUSANDS of new @UAW jobs…and ramp up production of its all-electric cars. What a time to be alive…”  Secretary Granholm also appointed Ford’s top lobbyist, Chris Smith, to serve on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board while her husband retained Ford stock. 

Secretary Granholm states in her June 9, 2023 letter, “As a public servant, I take very seriously the commitment to hold myself to the highest ethical standards.” She should be held to such standards. Her misrepresentation before the Committee on April 20, 2023, in addition to her failure to disclose her husband’s conflicting stock, follows multiple instances of questionable ethical conduct since her tenure as Secretary, including but not limited to:

  • her retention of Proterra stock while President Biden and Vice President Harris overtly promoted the company in their official capacity,
  • her own promotion of Proterra in violation of the Biden Ethics Pledge,
  • her promotion of the Democratic Party in her official capacity in violation of the Hatch Act, and
  • her nine-time violation of the STOCK Act.

Secretary Granholm’s repeated noncompliance with established financial rules and regulations, in addition to her disregard for ethical standards, has contributed to the erosion of the public’s trust not only in her, but the Department of Energy as a whole.

It is imperative that impropriety on the part of cabinet officials is taken seriously, the dignity of the offices in which they serve is upheld, and that officials are held accountable when they fail to follow the letter of the law.

I respectfully request that your office determine the facts surrounding any impropriety in connection with this matter. I look forward to your prompt response.