Intel: Warren threatens Trump with insider trading probe over Soleimani strike

al-monitor Democratic 2020 US presidential candidate and US Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks at a campaign town hall meeting in Dover, New Hampshire, US, Jan. 10, 2020. Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder.

Jan 14, 2020

Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., urged an insider trading investigation into President Donald Trump for reportedly telling Mar-a-Lago guests about the Soleimani strike in advance, according to a joint letter sent to the chairmen of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Monday.

The request comes after a report in The Daily Beast that Trump told guests at his resort up to five days before the Jan. 3 strike against Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force, to expect a “big” response to Iran that they would be hearing or reading about “soon.”

Why it matters: Van Hollen, the ranking member of the Senate subcommittee that oversees securities, and presidential contender Warren said that, if true, the report “raises a number of troubling national security questions,” including the president’s mishandling of sensitive national security information and his providing “market-moving” material of trade defense industry stocks and commodities.

Mar-a-Lago includes nearly 500 paying members, according to the request, including dozens of real estate developers, Wall Street financiers, energy executives and others whose “businesses could be affected by Mr. Trump’s policies.” The letter highlighted stock prices of Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon increasing between the days before and immediately after the attack.

What’s next: The senators asked the agencies to provide a briefing on the request no later than Feb. 13. The request comes amid an ongoing impeachment trial against the president and criticism of what intelligence information led to his decision to kill the Iranian general.

Know more: Read Congressional Correspondent Bryant Harris’ report on anti-war groups gaining new traction with Democratic leaders following the strike on Soleimani.