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Rep. Diana Harshbarger Purchased, Offered Defense Shares in Days After Ukraine Invasion

  • Harshbarger, of Tennessee, is certainly one of Congress’ most energetic inventory merchants.
  • She purchased inventory in Northrop Grumman on February 25, the day after Russia invaded Ukraine.
  • The congresswoman’s workplace says a monetary advisor makes trades on her behalf with out her enter.

Rep. Diana Harshbarger, a Republican of Tennessee and her husband purchased or bought inventory in three main US protection contractors in days following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in response to new congressional monetary disclosures reviewed by Insider.

Harshbarger or her husband, Robert Harshbarger, bought between $4,004 and $60,000 price of Northrop Grumman inventory on February 25, the day after the invasion started, the information point out. 

Northrop Grumman inventory closed at slightly below $410 per share that day and has risen sharply since, buying and selling round $455 per share by April 1. Lawmakers are solely required to publicly report the worth of their inventory trades in broad ranges, which prevents an actual valuation of their trades.

On March 2, the Harshbargers bought as much as $60,000 price of inventory in Oshkosh Corp., then on March 15, bought as much as $30,000 price of inventory in L3Harris Technologies Inc.

 

Harshbarger’s chief of employees Zac Rutherford declined to touch upon the congresswoman’s protection contractor inventory trades. In a press release to Insider in August, Rutherford stated that Harshbarger employs a monetary planner to make inventory trades on her behalf and does so “without any authorization, direction, or approval from Congresswoman Harshbarger.”

Harshbarger’s inventory trades are the newest instance of members of Congress shopping for and promoting inventory in protection contractors that rely upon congressional appropriations to earn cash and whose fortunes may rise or fall primarily based on choices the federal government makes. 

At least 15 members of the House and Senate armed companies committees, which oversee protection coverage, reported proudly owning protection contractor inventory. 

Separately, a minimum of 19 members of Congress personally put money into Lockheed Martin or Raytheon, the businesses that manufacture the Javelin and Stinger missile techniques that Western nations have despatched to Ukraine to defend towards Russian tanks and plane.

Defense contractors collectively spend tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} yearly to foyer the federal authorities to affect coverage. Northrop Grumman alone spent practically $10.7 million throughout 2021 to foyer the federal authorities, together with Congress, in response to federal lobbying information compiled by nonprofit analysis group OpenSecrets.

Dylan Hedtler-Gaudette, authorities affairs supervisor for nonpartisan watchdog group Project on Government Oversight, stated it is “bunk” for Harshbarger, or any member of Congress, to shift accountability for one’s private inventory trades to a cash supervisor or inventory dealer.

“She and her family bear ultimate responsibility, and if they so choose, they can direct their financial advisor to manage their investments in such a way so as to avoid conflicts or even the appearance of conflicts,” he stated. “Given the hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer dollars funneled to the Pentagon every year, and given the optics of personally profiting when defense companies get government contracts, members of Congress should be prohibited from having these investments at all.”

A inventory commerce ban?

The Committee on House Administration is scheduled to conduct a public listening to April 7 on that matter: whether or not federal lawmakers — and probably their quick relations — ought to be allowed to purchase and promote particular person shares. 

The listening to can even deal with enforcement of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, a legislation designed to defend towards conflicts of curiosity and promote transparency.

Insider’s “Conflicted Congress” mission in December discovered that dozens of lawmakers, and a minimum of 182 senior congressional staffers, had didn’t adjust to the reporting necessities of the STOCK Act.

“Conflicted Congress” additionally discovered quite a few examples of conflicts of curiosity, together with that 4 members of Congress or their spouses have both at the moment or lately invested cash in Russian corporations at a time when Russia has invaded Ukraine.

Harshbarger is certainly one of Congress’ most energetic inventory merchants, typically making dozens, if not a whole lot of particular person trades every month. 

In August, Insider reported that Harshbarger violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012’s disclosure provisions by failing to correctly disclose greater than 700 particular person inventory trades collectively price between $728,000 and $10.9 million.



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