Sen. J.D. Vance accuses SEC Chair Gary Gensler of a ‘vendetta’ against former President Donald Trump

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Republican Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio accused Gary Gensler, the nation’s foremost financial regulator of using its enforcement powers to harass former President Donald Trump.

Vance alleged that Gensler, chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission, had hired partisan Democrats “who seem to have a vendetta against the former president,” including enforcement division director Gurbir Grewal, the former Democratic Attorney General of New York, who investigated the former president in that capacity.

The Ohio Republican raised concerns about the SEC’s recent settlement with Digital World Acquisition Corp.
the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that is planning to merge with Trump Media & Technology Group, which operates the platform Truth Social, in a move that would take the company public.

The SEC found that DWAC misled investors because it failed to disclose that it was already planning to merge with Trump Media before the SPAC’s initial public offering in 2021.

SPACs are a type of public shell company that raises investor funds with the promise to use those funds to acquire a private company.

While Congressional Republicans have been complaining about the “weaponization” of the Justice Department amid its investigations into the former president, Vance said that “we should be more worried about the weaponization” of the SEC.

“It looks more and more like not an impartial regulatory body, protecting investors and consumers, but a regulatory body that’s using its power to silence and immiserate political rivals of the current president of the United States,” Vance said.

Vance also implied that during the next Republican presidential administration, the GOP will seek to install someone who will use the power of the agency to make life difficult for Democrats — and for Gensler himself.

“I have little hope that I can persuade you that hiring committed partisans and using the regulatory powers of the SEC in a way that looks, and I think is, politically partisan,” Vance said. “But maybe I can appeal to your sense of self-interest. If you guys use the SEC in such a politically motivated way, eventually you’re going to be out of power and I have to say, Chairman Gensler, that turnabout is fair play.”

Gensler responded by saying that he does not discuss any enforcement actions with the White House.

He also emphasized that DWAC voluntarily settled with the SEC and that the action was not taken against former President Trump, but the leadership of the SPAC that is considering acquiring Trump’s company.

DWAC shareholders voted earlier this month to extend the deadline the company has to consummate the merger by one year, and both companies recently reiterated their commitment to the deal.


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