(A)Political Newsletter - Volume 22

(A)Political Newsletter - U.S. Political News & Election Updates

December 15, 2023

Hello everyone,

It’s been a big week as Congress passes the 63rd consecutive National Defense Authorization Act while facing stalls on another Ukrainian aid package. President Zelensky visited the Capital this week to try and persuade Congress to pass the bill, otherwise warning of consequences to the Ukrainian war effort. Additionally, the Supreme Court heard its first abortion case since the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Lets jump in!

In today’s edition:

  • Stock Watching

  • Congress Passes National Defense Bill

  • House GOP Votes to Open Impeachment Inquiry

  • Zelensky Visits Congress Amid Stalled Aid Bill

  • Trump, Abortion, and Gun Control on Supreme Court Docket


  • Representative Mike Garcia sold Boeing stock in August of 2020.

    • Just weeks later, his committee released the results of its investigation into crashes involving Boeing jets.

    • He disclosed these trades months late, conveniently waiting until after the election.

    • He was not investigated for these trades.

    • He does not appear to even have been fined for disclosing them well past the deadline.

  • We just caught the chairman of the House Ethics Committee buying online gambling stocks.

    • U.S. Representative Michael Guest bought stock in Evolution Gaming Group.

    • Evolution is an online slots company.

    • Guest leads the House Ethics Committee.

  • Senator Tommy Tuberville bought stock in PulteGroup two months ago.

    • Tuberville has made many suspiciously well-timed trades, so I called this one out when it was disclosed.

    • The stock has now risen over 30%.

    • Another lucky trade by Senator Tuberville.

  • Representative Josh Gottheimer just disclosed trades of Microsoft options worth up to $50M.

    • He pledged to put his money in a blind trust in 2022.

    • He still has not done so.

    • We estimate that Gottheimer has gained over $20M of wealth while in office.

    • These Microsoft trades are likely related to grants from his prior job as an executive at the company.

    • He disclosed owning up to $25M of Microsoft stock at the start of 2023. 

    • Gottheimer sits on the House Committee on Investor Protection.

  • Representative Ken Buck replied to one of our reports on congressional stock trading yesterday, saying:

    • "Once again, it makes total sense to ban members of Congress from buying and trading stocks.

    • There is bipartisan support to do the right thing and restore some public trust."

  • Senator Sheldon Whitehouse just disclosed sales of stock in a company called Veralto.

    • Veralto is an environmental solutions company.

    • Senator Whitehouse sits on the Senate Committee on Environment.

    • He has made some very well-timed stock sales in the past.

    • Back in 2008, he sold off up to $600K of stock right before the financial crisis.

    • He did so shortly after meeting with the Fed Chairman and the Treasury Secretary.

    • He did not face any insider trading charges for those trades.

Be on the Lookout:

Former Rep. George Santos previously claimed he was worth up to $11 million during his campaign run before he was investigated and it was found out those numbers were inflated. Now he is in on cameo and is claiming to make close to $80,000 dollars a day. Back to Capitol Hill, the National Defense Authorization Act has been passed which means new contracts will be awarded to defense stock holders like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

Congress Passes $886 Billion Dollar National Defense Bill

PC: National Federation of Federal Employees

December 14, 2023- Republican and Democrat law makers have agreed upon an $886 Billion dollar defense bill near the close of 2023. The goal of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is to give the U.S. military money to buy tanks, planes, ships, as well as pay raises for soldiers and other personnel. Lawmakers also expect some of this money to be used towards curbing Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific as well as aiding Ukraine. The NDAA passed with bi-partisan effort in both the House and the Senate.

This is the largest NDAA bill ever passed as it is 3,100 pages and provides a 3% increase in the approved amount from the previous year. A provision in the bill also allows for a fourth month extension of the controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) which gives Congress time to evaluate the program. Another provision is the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative which authorizes $300 million to the program between 2024-2026.

The amount of money for Ukraine in the NDAA pales in comparison to the $63 billion dollar aid package that President Biden and President Zelensky have both asked for. Republican have made no promises to either one. The current aid package is bogged down as Republicans and Democrats fight over border security measures being attached to the package.

House GOP Votes to Open Impeachment Inquiry

PC: J. Scott Applewhite | Credit: AP

December 13, 2023- The House voted along party lines to initiate an impeachment inquiry against President Biden. An impeachment inquiry is not the same as impeachment, which is formally bringing charges against an official. The charges stem from accusations that claim Biden and his family personally profited from his time as Vice President. The reason why the inquiry was announced, according to Democrats, is to fight back against the legal trouble former President Trump is in, with 4 criminal trials ongoing. An impeachment inquiry could put a spotlight on a personal and political sore spot for Biden's reelection campaign, his son Hunter Biden.

However, the evidence that Republicans have put forward is not yet solid, according to political analysts. Deven Archer, a former associate of Hunter Biden, told congressional investigators that Hunter told business associates "an illusion of access to his father". Hunter also profited off of business in China, a fact Biden lied about on the campaign trail. Several political experts, in a hearing in September, said that they did not have personal knowledge of criminal activity by President Biden. One, however, did state that the information that the committee had already obtained amounted to organized corruption.

Zelensky Visits Congress During Aid Bill Disagreement

PC: Greg Nash/The Hill

December 12, 2023 - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Washington to reinforce his plea for aid as Republicans attempt to attach border security measures into the aid bill. Although Zelensky has been successful in previous visits, Republican’s made no promises on passing the bill until Democrat’s allow for the attachment of border security.

After visiting Congress, President Zelensky and President Biden talked for hours about finding a way forward in the war. Congress has provided $111 billion in aid for Ukraine since the beginning of the invasion. Democrats and the White House have said that failing to pass an aid bill will have “sweeping consequences” for Ukraine’s ability to hold territory as well as take back occupied territory.

So far, some of the Democrats have agreed that border aid is an important topic but are worried about how far Republicans are willing to go with stricter policies than they would prefer. There have been multiple exchanges where both sides have refused to budge, but the talks are still ongoing and both sides are hopeful for a common solution.

Trump, Abortion, and Gun Control on the Supreme Court Docket

Creator: Francis Chung/POLITICO | Credit: AP

December 14, 2023 - The Supreme Court has been busy with a number of decisions this week. First, the Illinois ban on AR-15 was upheld as the justices have again decided not to intervene. The original ban came down after the 2022 Independence Day Parade shooting that left 7 dead and 48 wounded. Despite recent criticism from Democrats on major decisions, the right leaning court decided to favor holding the ban.

Abortion pills were the next big issue that the supreme court protected. The protection was not without heavy restrictions to accessibility to patients. Abortion has been a seriously divisive issue since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022. The court ruled that the pill will remain legal but could not be mailed or prescribed. This is the first major case dealing with abortion since 2022.

Finally, the Supreme Court agreed to hear special counselor Jack Smith’s appeal to make a judgement on former President Trumps defense. In a brief version, the principle of Trump’s defense is that he is immune to prosecution for the crimes allegedly committed while he was in office. Mr. Smith is preempting the Supreme Court to submit a ruling before the appellate courts weigh in.

The goal of Mr. Smith’s preemption is to take Trump to trial before the election in 2024. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear it, the question of immunity will be answered by June. There are some concerns from Democrats, particularly that this is a Republican court. Some have called for Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from the discussion. If the court accepts to hear this before the lower courts, it will only be the 49th time it has done so in its history.

At the time of publication the Supreme Court has made no indication of what it will decide to do, but when a decision is made, there may be serious consequences to Trump’s campaign and potentially, other Republican candidates.

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