Biden Asked to Dismiss Energy Secretary Granholm for ‘Litany of Abuses of Public Trust’

Craig Bannister | August 15, 2023
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On Tuesday, more than a dozen conservative leaders, including Media Research Center President Brent Bozell, sent a letter to President Joe Biden requesting the resignation of Energy Department Secretary Jennifer Granholm based on a series of violations of federal ethics laws and regulations.

“In light of the repeated ethical lapses, as well as the apparent tolerance of a lax culture of ethical compliance at the Department of Energy, it is crucial for ensuring the trust of the American people that Secretary Granholm be immediately relieved of her duties,” the letter to Biden states.

Citing conflicts of interest and apparent financially-beneficial uses of power, the letter lists a “litany of abuses of public trust,” including:

  • Failure to accurately report financial holdings,
  • Participating personally and substantially in matters directly benefiting a company in which she had a financial interest,
  • Inappropriately using her official position to promote products for multiple companies in which she had a financial interest or covered relationship,
  • Abusing her position of authority and misusing government resources to advance partisan activities in violation of the Hatch Act,
  • Signaling to career civil servants and senior political leadership under her command that policy objectives take priority over basic compliance with ethics and legal obligations.


One example provided of Sec. Granholm’s dubious, potentially-enriching, use of power is her dealings with Ford Motor Company, in which she holds stock, the letter says:

“The recent revelations about Secretary Granholm’s continued financial ownership of Ford stock while acting to enrich – and at times even publicly endorse – the company is egregious. However, it is simply the latest incident evidencing recklessness at best and intentional disregard for the law at worst.”

“[T]he Office of the Special Counsel found that Secretary Granholm violated the Hatch Act in an October 2021 interview,” the letter explains.

The letter also notes that Granholm would not be the first Energy Department official during her tenure to resign in disgrace, pointing to the cases of former Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman and senior DOE official Samuel Brinton, who “was accused of stealing luggage at airports on at least two occasions, pleading guilty in one case so far.”

“Taken together, these episodes cast serious doubt on the Secretary’s fitness to hold a cabinet seat,” the letter says.

“You often speak of maintaining the highest standards for your administration’s appointees. It is past time that you demonstrate that this promise holds some meaning,” the letter concludes.

Read the full letter here.

The list of conservative leaders who signed the letter is presented below:

Saulius “Saul” Anuzis


60 Plus Association


James L. Martin


60 Plus Association


Bob Carlstrom


AMAC Action


Thomas Jones


American Accountability Foundation


Craig Rucker




Dr. Steven J. Allen

Vice Chairman

The Conservative Caucus


E. Calvin Beisner


The Cornwall Alliance for the

Stewardship of Creation


Kris Ullman


Eagle Forum


Craig Richardson


Energy & Environment Legal Institute

(E&E Legal)


David Bozell




Cameron Sholty

Executive Director

Heartland Impact


James Taylor


The Heartland Institute


L. Brent Bozell III

Founder and President



Donna Jackson

Director of Membership Development

Project 21 Black Leadership Network


Michael Chamberlain


Protect the Public’s Trust