Watchdogs demand Biden energy secretary resign over conflicts

 August 16, 2023

Joe Biden's Energy Secretary, Jennifer Granholm, is facing calls to resign over conflicts of interest.

Granholm, a lawyer and former governor of Michigan, has long garnered scrutiny for her stock holdings in companies backed by the Biden administration.

A letter to Biden from a group of watchdogs called for Granholm to resign "immediately" over undisclosed stock holdings in Ford, among other issues.

"Since Ms. Granholm’s responses to these allegations have often relied on some variation of 'it wasn’t my fault,' this has left the American public wondering where exactly the buck stops in your administration," the letter said.

Biden Secretary resignation

Granholm said in April that she didn't own stocks, but later said that was a "mistake" and revealed her husband had owned stock in the Ford, which is an important stakeholder in Biden's electric car agenda.

She said she didn't know about her husband's financial interests in Ford until recently, and that he sold his shares for over $2400.

"As a public servant, I take very seriously the commitment to hold myself to the highest ethical standards, and I regret the accidental omission of my spouse’s interest in Ford,” Granholm wrote.

The watchdogs' letter cites a YouTube video Granholm filmed with Pete Buttigieg promoting the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

"We request the immediate resignation of Secretary Jennifer Granholm based not only on her actions – her repeated apparent violations of federal ethics laws and regulations – but also on the ethics failures and legal missteps of her subordinates resulting from her poor example." 

Crony capitalism

Granholm quickly came under fire after she was appointed in 2021, as critics brought attention to her investments in Protera, an electric bus company that Biden and Granholm promoted.

Greenholm, who sat on the board of Protera before joining Biden's Cabinet, eventually cleared her stock at a $1.6 million gain.

The letter cited other evidence of Granholm's indifference to ethical standards - or even the appearance of propriety, including her advocacy for Democratic candidates, in violation of the Hatch Act.

"In light of the repeated ethical lapses, as well as the apparent tolerance of a lax culture of ethical compliance at the Department of Energy, it is crucial for ensuring the trust of the American people that Secretary Granholm be immediately relieved of her duties," the letter said. 

Of course, it's highly unlikely Biden will act - this is "the big guy" we're talking about.

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