U.S. House speaker Pelosi discloses trades in Apple and Microsoft

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FILE PHOTO: Democrats speak on the 25th Anniversary of the New Democrat Coalition on Capitol Hill in Washington

By Noel Randewich

(Reuters) – U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disclosed new stock market trades on Monday, showing purchases of options to buy shares of Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp.

In a periodic transaction report signed last Friday and appearing on the House of Representatives’ website on Monday, the senior Democrat disclosed that her husband, financier Paul Pelosi, on May 13 bought Apple call options for between $500,001 and $1 million.

On May 24, he bought more Apple call options, in an amount between $250,001 and $500,000, the disclosure https://disclosures-clerk.house.gov/public_disc/ptr-pdfs/2022/20021142.pdf shows. On the same day, Paul Pelosi bought Microsoft call options for as much as $600,000.

Users on social media platforms including Twitter, Reddit, Youtube and TikTok have scrutinized Pelosi’s trade disclosures in recent months, believing her position as House Speaker gives her and her husband an edge.

A 2012 law makes it illegal for lawmakers to use information from their work in Congress for their personal gain. The law requires them to disclose stock transactions by themselves or family members within 45 days.

Pelosi in January signaled that she might be willing to advance legislation to completely ban stock trading by lawmakers. That was a reversal from her previous position defending lawmakers’ right to trade stocks.

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Proposals by Democrats in Congress this year to prohibit stock trading by lawmakers have yet to pass.

Pelosi’s stock trading performance ranked sixth-best in Congress in 2021, with Republican Congressman Austin Scott leading the way, according to an analysis https://unusualwhales.com/i_am_the_senate/full by Unusual Whales, a service selling financial data.

Paul Pelosi’s purchases of Apple and Microsoft options in May followed a steep Wall Street selloff this year related to worries about inflation and rising interest rates.

So far in 2022, Pelosi has filed six transaction reports, disclosing several trades in Apple, the world’s most valuable company. She has also disclosed trades in Walt Disney Co, Tesla Inc, PayPal Holdings and other widely held stocks.

The Justice Department ended investigations of stock trades by at least three senators ahead of the 2020 market slump, caused by the coronavirus pandemic, without filing charges.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Bill Berkrot)