Raimondo’s Husband Exercised Stock Options in China-Backed AI Firm After Free Beacon Report
- February 10, 2022
Chuck Ross and Matthew Foldi, Washington Free Beacon
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s husband exercised up to $150,000 in stock options in a China-backed artificial intelligence firm at the heart of Beijing’s “penetration of Silicon Valley.”
Raimondo’s husband, Andy Moffitt, exercised his options in PathAI on Dec. 27, according to a filing that Raimondo submitted to the Office of Government Ethics. The transaction came two weeks after the Washington Free Beacon reported that the company, where Moffitt serves as “chief people officer,” is funded by Danhua Capital, a venture capital firm backed by a Chinese state-owned investment company. Danhua and the state agency that controls it are part of China’s ambitious plan to dominate the field of artificial intelligence, a technology central to PathAI’s medical diagnostics business. The Commerce Department did not respond to a request for comment.
Moffitt’s profit from a Chinese-linked firm could pose a conflict for Raimondo, who oversees international trade and sanctions policy. Other Biden cabinet officials have faced conflict of interest allegations involving stock trades. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm held millions of dollars of stock in Proterra, an electric vehicle battery company, while the administration repeatedly promoted the company. After she sold her non-public shares to an undisclosed buyer, she handed out tens of millions of dollars in government contracts to Proterra-connected companies, piquing the ire of watchdog groups.