Lee's trust made favorable stock trades amid virus briefings

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A trust belonging to U.S. Rep. Susie Lee of Nevada and her husband made advantageous stock trades in January selling natural gas shares and purchasing grocery shares as members of Congress received briefings on the coronavirus pandemic, according to Lee's financial disclosures.

Lee's congressional office told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the trust is managed by a third-party investor and the Democratic congresswoman did not direct the investor to make any transactions during that time.

The newspaper reported Lee's DSL Living Trust on Jan. 29 sold between $2,002 and $30,000 of natural gas company Targa Resources Inc. stock and purchased between $2,002 and $30,000 in shares of Grocery Outlet on Jan. 28 and Jan. 30.

U.S. House members received early briefings on Jan. 29 about the coronavrius pandemic, which has left gas and oil prices slumping and grocery store sales soaring.

Lee's office said the congresswoman did not attend the briefing because she was in a meeting related to her role as chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Technology Modernization.

“The Congresswoman is not involved in the day-to-day trading decisions of the DSL Trust,” Lee’s office said in a statement. “She did not direct any stock trades during the week of Jan. 29, when the House received an unclassified briefing on COVID-19. Any trades done that week were executed by a third-party money manager with no input whatsoever from the Congresswoman.”

Targa's stock fell from $38.05 per share on Jan. 29 to a March 18 low of $4.73. It was $20.07 Tuesday. The price per share of Grocery Outlet was $32.61 on Jan. 30 and was at $40.80 per share on Tuesday.