OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
NFL star quarterback Aaron Rodgers and former Green Bay Packers teammate David Bakhtiari took potshots at Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) in response to a Twitter thread that exposed what was said to be “unusual” stock trades over the years.
Unusual Whales, a platform that analyzes stock trades, looked at Feinstein’s trades over the past decade and suggested that it contributed to her net worth, which is speculated to have reached $200 million.
Feinstein became a senator in 1992 after serving as the mayor of San Francisco. She returned to the Senate last week after a lengthy bout with shingles, looking frail and hollow.
“Diane Feinstein returns to Senate. Feinstein, 89 years old, has some of the most unusual trades in Congress, over her thirty year career. In that time, her net worth sky rocketed to over $200 million. Let’s look at some of her unusual trades,” the Unusual Whales Twitter account began in a thread.
Diane Feinstein returns to Senate.
Feinstein, 89 years old, has some of the most unusual trades in Congress, over her thirty year career.
In that time, her net worth sky rocketed to over $200 million.
Let’s look at some of her unusual trades: pic.twitter.com/MS0VeOYstW
— unusual_whales (@unusual_whales) May 10, 2023
“Feinstein reportedly attended Covid hearings by the CDC in early Jan 2020. Afterwards, her husband sold between $1.5 & $6 million in stock Allogene Therapeutics amongst others. The stock market collapsed shortly afterwards. Feinstein was cleared by the DOJ,” the thread added.
“In April 2018, Mark Zuckerberg testified before the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, which Feinstein sat on. But in Jan 2018, Feinstein’s husband bought $250,000 Facebook stock. Only in May 2018 did Feinstein disclose the $META purchase. Feinstein praised $META in the hearing,” the thread continued.
“In Aug 2020, Feinstein’s husband purchased $50,000 in College Reaction, a private polling company. On Jan 6th, the day of the Capitol strike, Feinstein said the ‘previously unreported transaction conducted by my spouse’ should’ve been disclosed. She didn’t pay a penalty,” it added.
Bakhtiari alleged in response to the thread: “How are we as a nation just ‘cool’ with actions like this? It’s cheating in broad daylight.”
Rodgers responded to his former teammate: “Finally Dave, (hashtag) this gif is you,” with a gif of Ryan Reynolds in the movie “Free Guy.”
— Aaron Rodgers (@AaronRodgers12) May 11, 2023
The Unusual Whales thread continued: “On Dec 4, 2009, Feinstein & her husband bought $1 million in Amyris Biotechnologies. It was their only transaction the entire year. Weeks after, the company was awarded a $24 million governmental grant. Later, Feinstein introduced her own bill that benefited Amyris Biotech.”
“In July 2011, the Postal Service entered into an exclusive contract with the real estate firm CB Richard Ellis Group. Feinstein’s husband was the chairman of the company’s board of directors. Furthermore, he served on the global development counsel on Obama’s counsel.”
The thread ended with an allegation: “These are some of the many examples. Despite thirty years of conflicts, Feinstein paid zero fees and broke the STOCK Act numerous times. Truly unusual.”
Another long-serving California Democrat, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has had her and her husband’s stock trades scrutinized and questioned before as contributing to their wealth of more than $114 million.
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley introduced the “Eliminating Executive Branch Insider Trading Act” in March, which would “ban the trading and holding of individual stocks by senior Executive Branch officials.”
“How you can explain to the American people why you are in favor of members of Congress day-trading based on information that they’ve got – that other people don’t have out of the public? That’s not what we’re sent here to do,” Hawley said.
“I think it is a conflict of interest. Listen, insider trading is already banned, but members of Congress, I think, get information that a lot of the public just isn’t privy to. It may not technically be insider trading, but I do think it presents conflicts of interest,” he added, Fox Business reported.
Hawley’s bill is a separate piece of legislation from his “Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act,” popularly known as the PELOSI Act, named after the former House speaker.