Two senators serving on a subcommittee that Tuesday grilled Apple executives over the company's offshore tax practices are themselves owners of Apple stock, either directly or through a spouse, according to interviews and a review of federal disclosure documents by the Center for Public Integrity.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., owns the most Apple stock among the 14 members of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, with her holdings worth at least $250,001 and up to $500,000, according to personal financial disclosure documents released today that cover calendar year 2012.
Heitkamp was one of six committee members to not attend Tuesday's hours-long hearing, during which Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook defended his company against accusations of tax dodging. Regardless, the senator's stock holdings do not pose a conflict, a spokeswoman said.
“Senator Heitkamp was selected to serve on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee because of her unique position being from a border state and her past experience as a state attorney general working along aside law enforcement," spokeswoman Whitney Phillips said. "Her position on this committee is in no way impacted by her personal financial holdings.”
Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committeean and an ex officio member on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations who attended the hearing and asked questions, reported that his wife, Martha Ann, owned up to $100,000 worth of Apple stock during 2012.
Carper's committee office confirmed the senator's wife currently owns Apple equities, but committee spokeswoman Jennie Westbrook declined to answer specific questions about the stock holding.
The Center for Public Integrity is a non-profit, independent investigative news outlet. For more of its stories on this topic go to publicintegrity.org.