Gary Gensler, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), removed a gathering with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Democratic donor, billionaire George Soros from his public calendar.
A review of Gensler’s private calendar revealed a meeting with Clinton on August 7, 2021, despite only a staff meeting appearing on his public calendar that day. And on August 20, 2021, his public calendar shows a meeting with Soros, though the agenda is hidden. His personal calendar shows that the meeting was to discuss an op-ed that the business magnate was planning to write for the Wall Street Journal.
Energy Policy Advocates, an oversight group, obtained Gensler’s private calendar showing the discrepancies and provided it to a media source. The group had to sue the SEC under the Freedom of Information Act to access internal documents.
The SEC added Gensler’s 2021 meeting with Clinton to his public calendar shortly after the media contacted the agency. Even as recently as Wednesday, the event wasn’t on the public calendar, and in April’s web archives, there’s only a staff meeting listed.
When asked about the Clinton meeting, an SEC spokesperson initially said it was already public knowledge. The spokesperson responded to a screenshot of the calendar demonstrating that the Clinton meeting wasn’t included by saying that the SEC updates calendars “from time to time” when it learns something is missing or inaccurate.
In 2016, Clinton’s presidential campaign hired Gensler, a Goldman Sachs former executive and Obama administration official, as its chief financial officer. After being chosen by President Joe Biden for the prominent position of SEC chairman, he was confirmed by the Senate in April 2021.
The SEC concealed its September 2021 meetings with Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minyon Moore, a former White House official, according to archived copies of Gensler’s public calendar. Meetings like these are now reflected on the public calendar.
A Wall Street Journal op-ed written by Soros was published on September 6, 2021, roughly two weeks after Gensler and Soros met. When looking at Gensler’s private calendar, you can see that the August 20 meeting was “re: WSJ op-ed,” but you won’t see that on his public calendar.
In the article, Soros criticized the principal asset manager BlackRock for catering to the Chinese market with new investment offerings, but he praised the company for its green initiatives. At last, Soros urged lawmakers in Washington to expand the Securities and Exchange Commission’s regulatory powers.
The SEC representative refused to comment on the agenda of the meeting with Soros but said Gensler had never asked anyone to “draft or submit” any op-eds.
Gensler has been criticized by business organizations and Republican lawmakers for promoting progressive initiatives, such as a climate disclosure regulation requiring publicly traded firms to publish carbon emissions data.
This month, two prominent Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee, Reps. Bill Huizenga (R-Michigan) and Andy Barr (R-Kentucky) introduced a bill restricting the SEC’s authority to demand such climate disclosures.