President Biden’s The candidate for the head of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) appears to have broken Senate ethics rules and federal law during her tenure as a member of Congress.
Tracy Stone-Manning has come under scrutiny for her connection to Earth First! eco-terrorist tree-planting plot, but she also took out a $ 100,000 business loan from a friend while employed by Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont.
According to her written responses to the committee’s questions following her hearing last month, Stone-Manning received the loan for her business DB Sound LLC, which her husband “managed,” from Stuart Goldberg, a wealthy Montana developer and donor. de Tester, in 2008 to help his company in difficulty after the stock market crash.
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The loan was accepted at an interest rate of “6%” – well below the market interest rate of about 11% at the time, according to Federal Reserve Economic Data – with a term of “12 years”.
After his business closed and his family downsized in 2009, Stone-Manning converted the remaining $ 60,000 from Goldberg’s business loan into a personal loan, “paying it back in full in 2020.”
However, Stone-Manning also admitted in her responses that she did not consult the Senate Ethics Committee about the loan – a Senate ethics rule and a requirement of federal law.
According to Rules of ethics of the Senate and federal law, Senate employees can receive gifts from friends up to a value of $ 250. Anything over the amount must be disclosed to the Senate Ethics Committee and receive a written exemption from the staff member accepting the gift rule.
Stone-Manning wrote in her responses that she did not consult the Senate Ethics Committee about the loan and that she did not disclose the loan to the committee in the first place, saying she “did not consider not the loan to the company as a gift. “
Senate rules and federal law consider a loan to be a “gift,” with the exception of commercially available loans.
Federal law provides that loans are exempted when they are “made in a commercially reasonable manner (including the requirement that the loan be repaid and a reasonable rate of interest paid)”.
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The exception to Senate rules states that loans are exempt if they originate “from banks and other financial institutions on terms generally available to the public.”
This means Stone-Manning appears to have broken both federal law and 2008 Senate ethics rules until she left Tester’s staff in 2012.
In addition to the $ 100,000 loan, as DB Sound closed and engaged in a “move sale,” according to newspaper ads and files obtained by Fox News, Goldberg bought “thousands of dollars” from equipment to DB Sound at wholesale price after loan. .
Goldberg’s purchases could also have been a “giveaway” requiring committee disclosure, as the purchases could have given Stone-Manning a monetary value greater than $ 250.
Senator Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Who called Stone-Manning for the loan during his nomination hearing, torched the BLM candidate for the payment and his ties to Earth First !.
“Tracy Stone-Manning lied to the committee about her involvement with eco-terrorists. She also appears to have violated Senate ethics rules and possibly broken federal law by accepting a questionable loan of $ 100,000,” he said. Marshall told Fox News in an email Tuesday.
“President Biden should immediately withdraw her nomination and nominate a candidate without a history of financial disputes and eco-terrorism allegations,” he added.
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Stone-Manning has yet to produce written documentation on the loan, its terms, payment schedule, and other relevant documents.
The White House did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment on the loan and whether ethical issues surrounding the loan could impact her transparency as director of BLM.