CNBC: Gillibrand Faces Ethics Questions

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., could face questions over her husband’s stake in a little-known medical device company that stands to benefit from legislation she voted for, CNBC reports.

Gillibrand’s husband, Jonathan, invested in WindCrest LLC in 2005. In 2012 the company filed a patent application for a device that helps guide wires that are used in difficult surgeries. Gillibrand has disclosed this stake, which she has said is worth less than $50,000, but this invention could cause the senator to “profit from an industry she has played a role in regulating as a senator, and which she could influence as president,” according to CNBC.

Since announcing her run for president, Gillibrand has campaigned on financial transparency and attacked President Donald Trump for not being more forthcoming about his business interests and financial dealings.

“To Jonathan’s understanding, the investment is of little to no value,” an aide to the Gillibrand campaign told CNBC. “Senator Gillibrand was proud to release her tax returns first, and believes that radical transparency is important as an elected official.”

“The general issue is that, if somebody has a financial interest in a medical device company, it doesn’t matter where they are in the [approval] process, if they are working on health-care legislation, they’ve got a problem,” said former chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter. 

“The bottom line is, I think she’s got to get rid of it,” he added. “If she’s running for president, she’s got to get rid of it fast.”


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