Trusts Linked To Rep. Ro Khanna Sold BlackRock Stock Weeks Before Announcement Of Congressional Probe

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Matthew Nielsen Contributor
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Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna, who sits on the Congressional Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, recorded selling large quantities of BlackRock shares weeks before the committee announced a probe into the company.

Khanna’s disclosure forms state that trusts associated with both his children and spouse offloaded BlackRock stocks totaling between $32,000 and $130,000 between June and March 2023. The Select Committee notified the financial giant in early August that it was under investigation for involvement with over 60 Chinese companies flagged for human rights or national security concerns, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Trusts linked to Rep. Khanna sold between $1,000 and $15,000 of BlackRock shares on both March 14 and March 24. Further separate amounts between $15,000 and $50,000 of BlackRock securities were sold on June 26 and June 29 by trusts linked to Rep Khanna.

BlackRock is the world’s largest asset holder, with $8.6 trillion under management, according to Reuters, and has come under increasing political pressure for both its economic ties with the Chinese government and its domestic focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. The letters released by the Select Committee target BlackRock for including in its indexes a variety of companies that are currently on U.S. “red flag lists,” such as a Department of Defense list of Chinese companies operating on American soil with ties to Chinese military, the Journal reports.

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 20: Rep. Ro Khanna speaks at Go Bigger on Climate, Care, and Justice! on July 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Shannon Finney/Getty Images for Green New Deal Network)

Khanna received media attention in 2022 for what Insider described as his “comically illegible” stock trade disclosures, though he remains publicly committed to economic transparency among politicians and supports a ban on stock trading for members of Congress. The Silicon Valley congressman recorded trades totaling $52 million in securities during 2021. (RELATED: Dem Rep Compares IRS Whistleblower To Villain From Famous Musical)

A spokesperson for Khanna told the Daily Caller the lawmaker “does not own or sell any individual stocks including Blackrock and MSCI” and that “Rep. Khanna’s wife has assets prior to marriage in a diversified trust managed by an independent third party.” Furthermore, the spokesperson added that Khanna “had no advance knowledge or role about the Select Committee’s investigation until he read about it in the press.”

The spokesperson further clarified that the BlackRock transactions were small in comparison with the full portfolio. She also noted that the trust’s last BlackRock activity was in fact a purchase, and requested a subsequent change in the title of the piece. The purchase of BlackRock shares occurred on July 28 and was not filed with the Office of the Clerk before the publishing of this piece. The amount bought on July 28, between $1,000 and $15,000, is also smaller than the between $32,000 and $130,000 sold between March and June 2023.

Khanna’s liquidation of BlackRock shares is part of a much larger sell-off of the financial giant, with the transparency website Capitol Trades recording nine different politicians, seven of them Democrats, selling $250,000 worth of BlackRock shares in the last year.

UPDATE: This article has been updated following a response from Rep. Khanna’ office, including a full breakdown of updated numbers.
Correction: The Daily Caller previously reported a range of sales between $32,000 and $150,000. The correct accounting is a range of $32,000 and $130,000. The Daily Caller regrets the mistake.
Clarification: The Daily Caller updated the headline to clarify the trusts are those of Khanna’s direct family members.