More details continue to emerge putting to rest the claims by conservative media activists that Rep. Nancy Pelosi faced a conflict of interest as speaker of the House because of an investment in Visa she made during that time.
On Thursday, 60 Minutes reporter Steve Kroft asked Pelosi whether her family had invested in Visa while she served as speaker, thereby creating a conflict of interest as she oversaw credit card reform. Andrew Breitbart and Fox Nation quickly sought to create a mini-scandal by linking to the video with salacious headlines.
The smear was completely discredited by the fact that, during that time, Pelosi oversaw the passage of historic credit card reform -- legislation aggressively opposed by the financial services industry and touted by consumer advocates.
Today, Politico further discredited the story, reporting that Pelosi's investment did not create a conflict of interest based on Congressional ethics rules:
[T]he House Ethics Committee notes that “ownership in a publicly traded company generally will not present a conflict of interest requiring recusal from voting” on legislation affecting that company. In that instance, lawmakers are treated as part of a “class” of investors rather than as individuals and are allowed to vote.
The Pelosi's holdings in Visa stock would likely not have been seen as significant in a company with hundreds of millions of shares outstanding.