FAST FIVE: Warren, Van Hollen Ask SEC To Investigate Insider Trading By Mar-A-Lago Guests Before Soleimani Airstrike
Chris Van Hollen co-wrote a letter on Monday to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requesting an “investigation into whether there may have been any illegal trading in defense company stocks or commodities related to individuals' advance knowledge of the United States attack on January 2, 2020, that killed Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani.” Warren, Van Hollen ask SEC and CFTC to investigate possible insider trading by Mar-a-Lago members reportedly given advance notice on Iran action.
– Kayla Tausche (@kaylatausche) January 14, 2020 The letter alleges that President Trump told guests at the Mar-A-Lago resort that military action was pending in the Middle East. The senators pulled a quote from a story that was featured on the left-leaning Daily Beast that detailed how three unnamed sources at the resort heard President Trump talking to guests about an upcoming military operation: “In the five days prior to launching a strike that killed Iran's most important military leader, Donald Trump roamed the halls of Mar-a-Lago, his private resort in Florida, and started dropping hints to close associates and club-goers that something huge was coming .
Additionally, immediately following the killing of Soleimani, the price of crude oil increased by over 4%.” However, as the charts below show, defense stocks were actually down ahead of the attack on the embassy, which triggered the first push higher, and then surged on Soleimani's death headlines.
As it relates to the Vanity Fair article published on October 17, 2019, regarding activities in the E-mini S&P 500 futures contract, the allegations about the trading activity are patently false.
These transactions were entered into by a significant number of diverse market participants.” And at the time the Vanity Fair piece was released, we did not run a comment on the article because of our initial skepticism of the reporting, and as Bloomberg reported, experts who examined the story said any implication that people traded on inside information fell short of being proven.