Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler scrubbed mention of a meeting with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and key details of a meeting with billionaire Democratic donor George Soros from the public version of his calendar.
Gensler’s public calendar showed that he only had a staff meeting on Aug. 7, 2021, while his private calendar lists a meeting with Clinton, according to a Fox News Digital review. And on Aug. 20, 2021, his public calendar lists a meeting with Soros but hid the meeting’s agenda, which his private calendar shows was to discuss a forthcoming Wall Street Journal op-ed the business magnate was planning to write.
Gensler’s private calendar revealing the discrepancies was obtained by the watchdog group Energy Policy Advocates and shared with Fox News Digital. The group was only able to obtain the internal records after filing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the SEC.
In recent days, around the time Fox News Digital contacted the SEC, the agency updated Gensler’s public calendar to include his meeting with Clinton in August 2021. As recently as Wednesday the public calendar didn’t include the meeting, and archived copies of the webpage from April also list just a meeting with staff.
An SEC spokesperson first responded to an inquiry by saying the public calendar listed the Clinton meeting. When sent a screen capture of the calendar showing the Clinton meeting wasn’t listed, the spokesperson responded by saying that the agency updates calendars “from time to time” when it discovers that something is missing or inaccurate.
Gensler, a former Goldman Sachs executive and Obama administration official, was the chief financial officer for Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016. The Senate confirmed him to lead the SEC in April 2021, shortly after President Joe Biden selected him for the high-profile position.
Archived copies of Gensler’s public calendar also show the SEC hid September 2021 meetings with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Washington, D.C.-based consultant Minyon Moore, a former White House official. The public calendar has now been updated to show those meetings as well.
Meanwhile, on Sept. 6, 2021 — about two weeks after the meeting between Gensler and Soros — the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed written by Soros. Gensler’s private calendar, but not his public calendar, states the purpose of the Aug. 20 meeting was “re: WSJ op-ed.”
In the article, Soros blasted major asset manager BlackRock for launching investment products for Chinese customers while applauding the company’s environmental policies. Soros eventually argued that Congress should pass legislation to give the already powerful SEC more regulatory authority.
“That even George Soros is calling out progressive darling BlackRock for craven blundering is striking — even if it did carry the requisite, tribal praise for BlackRock’s truly damaging ‘ESG’ (environmental, social and governance) campaigning to impose their shared ‘climate’ agenda on the U.S., an agenda also much to China’s delight,” Chris Horner, a lawyer representing Energy Policy Advocates, told Fox News Digital. “That it appears Soros received counsel from Gary Gensler on the mega-donor’s call for more SEC powers as a result is truly astonishing.”
“This gives further credence to the widespread concern that Gensler is deeply politicizing a supposedly independent commission,” Horner said. “He may have been Hillary Clinton’s ‘Progressive Beacon’ not long ago, but Gary Gensler is now the SEC chairman, and his calendar indicates he knew the purpose of the meeting. It seems important to know whose idea this was, why, what was said arranging it and through what channel.”
The SEC spokesperson said Gensler has never asked anybody to “draft or submit” any op-ed but wouldn’t comment on the agenda of the meeting with Soros.
“That this and Gensler’s consultation with Hillary were scrubbed from the public version of his calendar is frankly the least surprising aspect of this,” Horner continued.
“The SEC first told Energy Policy Advocates that the publicly posted calendars were all they would get,” he continued. “Energy Policy Advocates challenged that, pointing out that these sanitized versions, typically posted months after the fact, were certainly not produced from memory and the group wanted the originals. Here you see the reason for the scrubbing these internal versions receive.”
Gensler has faced heavy criticism from business groups and Republican lawmakers for pushing progressive policies, including a climate disclosure rule that would require publicly traded companies to share carbon emissions data and other climate information.
Reps. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., and Andy Barr, R-Ky., two top GOP members on the House Financial Services Committee, introduced legislation this month that would limit the SEC’s ability to require such climate disclosures.
“American job creators are under constant assault from the heavy-handed regulatory approach of the Securities and Exchange Commission under Gary Gensler,” Huizenga told FOX Business on Dec. 1.
“Nowhere is this more evident than the SEC’s clear desire to massively expand disclosure requirements. Such an expansion would not only damage our economy, but it would also negatively impact small businesses and make it more difficult for investors to retire with financial security.”
FOX Business reporter Eleanor Terrett contributed to this report.