NJ Globe: De Gregorio Hits Gottheimer On Reported Russian-Tied Stocks

March 7, 2022

Gottheimer, who says he has no involvement in stock purchases, is sponsor of bill banning Russian oil imports

Nick De Gregorio, a Republican running for Congress in the 5th district, slammed Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) late last week over a report by Insider that Gottheimer owns stocks in several Russian companies. 

“At a time when our democratic allies in Ukraine are being hunted and slaughtered by the Russian army, Josh is personally invested in the oligarchic lifeline that allows Vladimir Putin to engage in this unchecked and unprovoked aggression against a free people,” De Gregorio said in a statement. “He needs to sell these assets immediately.”

According to Insider, Gottheimer owns between $2,000 and $30,000 worth of depository receipts in Lukoil, a major Russian petroleum company, and between $1,000 and $15,000 in Russian internet services company Yandex. The congressman, however, is one of the lead co-sponsors on a bill that would ban Russian oil imports entirely, essentially making his own stock holdings less valuable.

“I’m leading the bipartisan legislation in Congress to ban the U.S. from importing Russian oil and hit Putin where it hurts,” Gottheimer said in a statement to the New Jersey Globe.

Gottheimer has also said he doesn’t personally manage his own stocks and had no knowledge of the Russian-tied investments.

“Prior to taking office, Josh turned over management of his portfolio to a third party and only receives statements of prior transactions,” Gottheimer spokesperson Chris D’Aloia told Insider in response to the investigation. “All decisions related to buying and selling of securities are done so without Josh’s approval.”

A push to ban members of Congress from trading stocks has gained significant steam in recent months; Gottheimer has cosponsored a bill requiring members of Congress to put their stocks into a blind trust, something he said he himself recently did. De Gregorio, who currently owns stock in the British fossil fuel giant BP, has expressed support for similar policies.