Nancy Pelosi's husband recently sold 20,000 shares of Visa worth up to $5 million

Paul Pelosi and Nancy Pelosi attend the TIME 100 Gala Red Carpet
Paul Pelosi and Nancy Pelosi attend the TIME 100 Gala Red Carpet at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 23, 2019, in New York City.Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME
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  • Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reported her husband recently sold between $1 million and $5 million worth of stock in Visa.

  • She reported that her husband, Paul Pelosi, made the trade on November 8.

  • Eleven days prior to the trade, an attacker assaulted Paul Pelosi with a hammer.

Paul Pelosi, the husband of the outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, sold millions of dollars worth of Visa stock in November, newly filed federal records show.

The trade on November 8 — Election Day — came days after a man invaded the Pelosis' home in California. He bludgeoned Paul Pelosi with a hammer and said he wanted to break the kneecaps of Nancy Pelosi, who was not present at the time. Following the attack on October 28, Paul Pelosi underwent surgery and continues to recover from his injuries.

Federal records indicate Paul Pelosi — a venture capitalist by trade and frequent stock trader for personal purposes — sold between $1 million and $5 million worth of Visa stock on November 8. Members of Congress are only required to report the values of such trades in broad ranges.

Visa's stock price has fallen to a two-year low in late September. But it was trending upward when Paul Pelosi sold what Nancy Pelosi, in a congressional filing, affirmed was 20,000 shares. Visa's stock has since continued to climb.

pelosi trade
House Ethics Committee

Insider collected each of the trades that Nancy Pelosi reported in 2021 and 2022. Many of Paul Pelosi's trades are worth millions — a previous analysis from Insider found in late 2021 that the speaker then ranked as the 14th wealthiest member of Congress with an estimated net worth of at least $46,123,051.

Nancy Pelosi doesn't personally trade stocks, and she's previously denied that she gives her husband congressional information that helps inform his stock trades. Federal law requires a congressional lawmaker to disclose stock trades made by himself or herself, as well as trades made by a spouse or on behalf of a dependent child.

While Pelosi is stepping down as leader of the Democrat Party in the House, she will remain a member of Congress.

Visa's political influences

Visa is among one of the most powerful corporate lobbying forces in the nation, having spent at least $3 million on federal-level lobbying efforts each year since 2005, according to nonpartisan research organization OpenSecrets. So far this year, the company has employed 43 federal lobbyists.

The company is one of the most popular stock holdings among federal lawmakers: 24 members of the House and six members of the Senate reported ownership in 2020, according to an Insider analysis of congressional stock trades.

Visa's political action committee has also spread hundreds of thousands of dollars among dozens of congressional candidates in recent years, per OpenSecrets. Visa's PAC gave Pelosi's congressional campaign committee $5,000 on September 26, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission. Since 2006, the PAC has contributed more than $20,000 to Pelosi's re-election efforts, FEC records indicate.

A conflicted Congress

Since 2021, Insider's "Conflicted Congress" project has identified 75 members of Congress who've violated disclosure provisions of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 — a law Congress passed for itself to defend against conflicts of interest and enhance public transparency.

Insider has also found numerous examples of congressional conflicts of interest, where lawmakers' stock trades intersect with their duties as public officials.

Paul Pelosi's trades occurred at a time when members of Congress are debating whether they, their spouses, and dependent children should even be allowed to trade individual stocks at all.

Nancy Pelosi originally opposed such a ban in December 2021, but publicly reversed course after facing criticism from Democrats and Republicans in office.

House leaders unveiled their own congressional stock trading ban proposal in September. But it received criticism from some Democrats and good-government advocates who suggested it's fatally flawed by a loophole that allows for "fake" blind trusts.

Congress has about a month left in its lame-duck congressional session to take up the Democratic leaders' stock-ban bill, and they've offered little indication since Election Day on November 8 that they're serious about doing so.

Prior to the election, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he was open to passing a congressional stock trading ban if Republicans won control of the House in the midterm elections.

Despite Republicans winning enough seats in the midterm elections to narrowly gain control of the House next term, McCarthy has yet to publicly announce his plans for such a bill.

In his recent declaration to run for president again, former President Donald Trump endorsed the idea of banning members of Congress from trading stocks.

"We want a ban on members of Congress getting rich by trading stocks on insider information," Trump said.

Read the original article on Business Insider