2020 Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren attends a rally at the Kings Theater on January 7, 2020 in New York.
Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren has called for a federal investigation into whether President Donald Trump previously notified stock traders who may have benefited from the tip illegally that fatal strike against General Qasem Soleimani.
The Massachusetts Democratic Senator wrote in a letter Monday to the chairs of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. A Daily Beast report was quoted that Trump told guests at his Mar-a-Lago resort a few days before the January 3 strike that they should "soon" expect a "big" response to Iran.
"If this report is true, it raises a number of worrying national security issues related to President Trump's handling of classified information and other sensitive national security information," wrote Warren in the letter, also written by Senator Chris Van Hollen, D- Md., The senior member of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees securities and investments.
The senators wrote that the President's guests in Florida may "have received confidential market movement information and been able to trade or trade in the defense industry or other business based on that information."
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The senators found that defense stocks rose steeply between the announcement of the attack and the close on January 3. They cited a 5% increase in Northrop Grumman, a 3.6% increase in Lockheed Martin and a 1.5% increase in Raytheon.
"We have no way of knowing which people received information from President Trump in the run-up to the attack, what specific information they received, when they received it, or whether they used the information to conduct securities or commodity transactions," the senators wrote ,
The federal law prohibits trading in shares based on material, non-public information. The senators urged the agencies to provide information on the matter by February 13 in addition to conducting an investigation.
Warren ranks third in national polls after spending past past President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Voting on state primaries and assemblies will begin early next month.
The seventh democratic debate is scheduled for Tuesday evening in Des Moines, Iowa. A campaign spokesman referred CNBC to the Warren Senate office.
Soleimani led the elite of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Iran and was considered the second most powerful official in the country. Iran responded to the US attack by launching rocket attacks on two Iraqi military bases that housed American troops, with no casualties.
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comments. The CFTC and SEC declined to comment.
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