Busted: Tommy Tuberville invested in defense contractor while blocking military nominations

Busted: Tommy Tuberville invested in defense contractor while blocking military nominations
'Coward' Tommy Tuberville 'who’s never served' slammed by ex-Marine general: report
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WASHINGTON — Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) recently purchased up to $250,000 worth of stock in telecommunications technology company Qualcomm Inc., a federal defense contractor, while serving on the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services and actively blocking hundreds of military nominations and promotions, new congressional financial disclosures indicate.

Qualcomm and its subsidiaries have been the recipient of several dozen defense and homeland security contracts during the past two decades, according to federal contracting records reviewed by Raw Story.

Among these is a Department of the Army contract with Qualcomm Intelligent Solutions, worth nearly $11.7 million with the possibility of growing to $30.4 million, related to a government program exploring "innovative, energy-efficient, and reliable computer architectures that can address the intelligence community’s large-scale data-analytic applications."

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The Senate Armed Services Committee on which Tuberville sits has jurisdiction over "military research and development," among a host of other responsibilities.

Tuberville spokesman Steven Stafford did not reply to a question about whether it's a conflict of interest for Tuberville to invest in defense contractor stocks while serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He also did not respond to a question about whether Tuberville, in principle, supports or opposes any of the several bills introduced this year that would either ban, or limit, members of Congress and their spouses from personally trading stocks. Tuberville has previously described the idea as "ridiculous".

"Senator Tuberville has long had financial advisers who actively manage his portfolio without his day-to-day involvement," Stafford wrote in an email to Raw Story.

Asked to name the financial advisers, he did not respond.

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Tuberville's Qualcomm stock purchase is not the first time the senator has bought or sold defense contractor stocks since joining the U.S. Senate in 2021.

Earlier this year, he separately bought and sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of Qualcomm shares. Tuberville also has five-figure stock holdings in defense contractors Honeywell International and Lockheed Martin Corp., according to his most recent annual personal financial disclosure.

More recently, Tuberville has made headlines for blocking the nominations or promotions of hundreds of senior members of the U.S. military in protest of a government policy that provides funding for servicemembers and their dependent children who cross state lines to obtain abortions.

'Ethically preposterous'

A government ethics watchdog took a dim view of the latest stock trade by Tuberville, whose months-long blockade of nominations and promotions for high-level military officers stems from his objection to a Biden administration policy that allows military personnel to charge the government for travel related to obtaining an abortion.

"Senator Tuberville being a member of the Armed Services Committee and investing in defense contractors is ethically preposterous and a textbook example of a conflict of interest," Dylan Hedtler-Gaudette, senior government affairs manager with the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan group that exposes conflicts of interest in the government, told Raw Story.

"The senator’s personal financial position is directly tied to the financial position of specific companies that receive billions of dollars in taxpayer funded government contracts," Hedtler-Gaudette said. "I can’t think of anything more inappropriate and unethical than that, especially given the role that the Armed Services Committee plays in authorizing defense spending toplines and priorities around specific defense projects and programs."

Tuberville's personal investments have proved problematic for him in other regards.

In 2021, Insider reported that Tuberville violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 by failing to properly disclose more than 130 stock trades that, taken together, were worth as much as $3.56 million.

Since then, dozens of other federal lawmakers have similarly violated the STOCK Act with late or otherwise incomplete disclosures.

During 2023 alone, Raw Story has identified 23 members of Congress — Republicans and Democrats alike — who've violated the law.

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