The House impeachment inquiry may soon be able to add a new high crime and misdemeanor to the growing list of articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
Specifically, Trump is suspected of manipulating futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange by making statements that allowed investors to turn billions of dollars in profits, some of which may have directly benefited Trump and members of his family, according to a blockbuster report from Vanity Fair:
“In the last 10 minutes of trading at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Friday, September 13, someone got very lucky. That’s when he or she, or a group of people, sold short 120,000 “S&P e-minis”—electronically traded futures contracts linked to the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index—when the index was trading around 3010. The time was 3:50 p.m. in New York; it was nearing midnight in Tehran. A few hours later, drones attacked a large swath of Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure, choking off production in the country and sending oil prices soaring. By the time the CME next opened, for pretrading on Sunday night, the S&P index had fallen 30 points, giving that very fortunate trader, or traders, a quick $180 million profit.”
As it turns out, that wasn’t an isolated incident. Another one happened just three days earlier, on September 10:
“In the last 10 minutes of trading, someone bought 82,000 S&P e-minis when the index was trading at 2969. That was nearly 4 a.m. on September 11 in Beijing, where a few hours later, the Chinese government announced that it would lift tariffs on a range of American-made products. As has been the typical reaction in the U.S. stock markets as the trade war with China chugs on without any perceptible logic, when the news about a potential resolution of it seems positive, stock markets go up, and when the news about the trade war appears negative, they go down.”
These and other suspicious market moves tied to statements from Trump are now under the microscope thanks to two Democrats in the House, Reps. Ted Lieu (CA) and Kathleen Rice (NY), who have written letters to multiple federal agencies, Common Dreams reports:
“(Lieu and Rice wrote) the FBI, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, requested a probe into ‘potentially unlawful behavior related to the trading of electronically traded futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in the last several months.'”
Multiple large trades, resulting in billions in profit, occurred shortly before geopolitical events or statements by @POTUS that moved the markets significantly. @RepKathleenRice & I are former prosecutors. Here are our letters asking for investigations.https://t.co/C7I9jRMRsh
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) October 18, 2019
Regulators can find out exactly who has made the trades that were tied to remarks from the president, and they can also determine exactly how much those traders made off their transactions. If any of those were made by individuals tied to Trump, that would be evidence of fraud.
An anonymous trader said something fishy is indeed happening:
“One longtime CME trader who has been watching with disgust says he’s never seen anything quite like these trades, not at least since al-Qaida cashed in before initiating the September 11 attacks. ‘There is definite hanky-panky going on, to the world’s financial markets’ detriment,’ he says. ‘This is abysmal.'”
Perhaps the only question that remains when it comes to Donald Trump is this one: Is there any crime he hasn’t committed?