Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi Requests Office of Government Ethics Review Potential Insider Trading and Ethics Breaches By Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross
WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi wrote to the Office of Government Ethics to request a review of Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’s potential ethical violation of new revelations published by Forbes.
A signed copy of this letter is viewable here and its text follows:
June 21, 2018
Mr. David J. Apol
Acting Director and General Counsel
U.S. Office of Government Ethics
1201 New York Avenue, N.W. Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20005
Dear Acting Director Apol,
In his confirmation hearing, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross wrote a sworn statement to the Office of Government Ethics attesting to his intention to divest from conflicts of interest.
Throughout 2017 it was reported that Secretary Ross maintained his investments in Chinese government-owned companies, firms with direct ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, and a Cypriot bank under investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
In his November 2017 letter to OGE, Ross disclosed assets valuing $2 million to $10 million in Navigator Holdings, which has direct ties to a Putin confidant. On October 30 of last year, a New York Times reporter contacted Secretary Ross regarding his stake in Navigator Holdings. The next day, Secretary Ross shorted his stocks in transactions worth between $100,000 and $250,000, according to an OGE disclosure form, and shares in Navigator Holdings fell 3.9 percent between October 31 and November 16.
Given the multiple accounts surrounding this story, I respectfully request that you answer the following questions:
- When the Office of Government Ethics approved the short sale of these stocks, were you aware that Secretary Ross was potentially acting on insider information?
- If the Secretary was trading on insider information, is this a breach of his ethical obligations to the American people?
Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter, and we look forward to your reply.
Member of Congress