Two House Democrats on Friday urged federal agencies to investigate possible insider trading by President Donald Trump or members of his administration after a Vanity Fair story detailed several immensely profitable stock market bets that appeared suspiciously timed around Trump’s actions or statements.
“Timing and scale [of the stock bets] raise serious suspicions about whether the traders received material nonpublic information that would affect the S&P and how they received such information.”
Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), in letters to the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, requested a probe into “potentially unlawful behavior related to the trading of electronically traded futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in the last several months.”
“On October 16, Vanity Fair reported on numerous instances in which individuals or groups of individuals made millions, and in some cases billions, of dollars in profits by trading large numbers of Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P) e-mini futures contracts immediately prior to major geopolitical events,” Lieu and Rice wrote.
“The trades preceded such events as the Saudi Aramco attack as well as announcements related to progress in talks between the United States and China over the trade war and the withdrawal of the extradition bill in Hong Kong,” wrote the Democrats. “In one case occurring in August, the trader or traders made $1.5 billion when the S&P rose after President Trump lied about phone calls taking place between United States and Chinese officials.”
“While the aforementioned trades may be purely coincidental,” added Lieu and Rice, “their timing and scale raise serious suspicions about whether the traders received material nonpublic information that would affect the S&P and how they received such information.”
“We urge you to swiftly investigate whether trading on insider information or any other fraudulent behavior occurred in relation to these trades,” the lawmakers wrote.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT