You know possible corruption among members of Congress is bad when Hollywood actors start criticizing them for it.
British actor and comedian Russell Brand did not hold back his heated criticism and mockery of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her husband’s investments in stock trades that aligned with legislation pushed through Congress.
Brand suggested in a video Thursday that the Pelosi family was benefiting from the California Democrat’s high-level government position through “insider information” she provided to her husband, Paul Pelosi.
“Are members of Congress, Nancy Pelosi, becoming rich because they are lucky, or is it because they have access to insider trading information that they then give to their husbands who trade on the stock market?” Brand said.
“Today we’re talking about Nancy Pelosi and the stock market. She has been confronted with the grim truth that possibly some people believe that Nancy Pelosi’s trading deals, or the Pelosi family’s trading deals, are somewhat benefiting from Nancy Pelosi’s insider information,” he said.
Brand blasted the House speaker after news came out that her husband exercised an option to buy 20,000 shares of Nvidia — a technology company that manufactures microchips — in June just before Congress voted on legislation boosting the semiconductor industry.
The stocks were worth between $1 million and $5 million, according to The Hill.
After the transaction made headlines, Paul Pelosi “decided to sell the shares at a loss rather than allow the misinformation in the press regarding this trade to continue,” according to a spokesman.
“Now, if you see a connection between Nancy Pelosi debating about whether to give billions of dollars of support to the chip industry, and Paul Pelosi investing in the chip industry, you’re obviously some sort of conspiracy theorist,” Brand said of people who pointed out the obvious truth.
The bill in question was created to support the domestic manufacturing of microchips, which power American smartphones, cars and computers, among other technological equipment. President Joe Biden is expected to sign the act into law, NPR reported.
Brand continued mocking Nancy Pelosi’s evasive behavior when a reporter questioned whether she supplied the trading information to her husband.
“If ever you’re asked a difficult question in public and you don’t answer it, there’s a few simple tips,” he said.
“First, ask them to repeat the question, then sort of crane forward all weirdly,” Brand said.
“Then say, ‘no,’ as if you’re sort of offended by that, even though perhaps all day at work you’ve been debating whether or not to give billions of dollars to the chip industry, your husband has just invested in the chip industry.”
Brand played the news conference clip showing the speaker walking away to escape the incessant questioning.
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive.
If Pelosi did, in fact, provide critical information to her husband in order to financially benefit from her position, she wouldn’t be alone, according to Brand.
He pointed out that many members of Congress have invested in stock trades while supporting related legislation.
Additionally, most senators have been late in disclosing their trades to the public last year, he said. The disclosure deadline for elected officials is 45 days.
“They’re using information that they get while in Congress to make investments that they know are gonna pay out. And that is corruption — more than corruption, it’s crime,” Brand said.
Profiting from a congressional office is not just criminal but also ironic, considering members are supposed to make laws, not break them.
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