WASHINGTON – Eight U.S. senators have requested an investigation into whether a billionaire investor and adviser to President Donald Trump violated insider trading rules with bets made in the renewable fuel credit market.
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In a letter Tuesday to three separate government agencies, the senators note that then President-elect Trump brought on Carl Icahn in December as an unpaid adviser on regulatory reform, despite Icahn's position as the majority owner of CVR Energy, an oil refining company based in Sugar Land, Texas, involved in the renewable fuel credit market.
The senators, all Democrats, cited media reports saying that Icahn bet in 2016 that the price of renewable fuel credits would drop. They say Icahn then made recommendations to Trump that caused the price of those credits to drop, netting CVR a $50 million windfall.
A message was left with Icahn's office seeking comment. He has previously rejected accusations that his role in the Trump administration represents a conflict of interest.
In their letter, which frequently cites reporting by Reuters, the senators said Icahn's actions and the "massive profit" he earned "raises questions about whether or not he may have violated conflict-of-interest rules that apply to government officials."
The letter from the senators, which includes Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, seeks an investigation by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency.