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Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A campaign finance watchdog filed a complaint Monday alleging Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross could have violated the law by holding stock in companies that may have been affected by Trump administration directives.

Why it matters: Add this to the list of questions Ross has faced over his assets — a month ago the U.S. Office of Government Ethics warned him his "actions, including... continued ownership of assets required to be divested in [his] Ethics Agreement and... opening of short sale positions, could have placed [him] in a position to run afoul of the primary criminal conflict of interest law.”

The big picture: Former HHS Secretary Tom Price and former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt departed the administration after facing months of questions over similar legal and financial issues.

Details:

  • Ross may have violated three laws by delivering false statements and omissions about his holdings in congressional testimony and financial disclosures, the Campaign Legal Center alleges, per CNBC’s Dan Mangan.
  • The stock holdings in question: Invesco, which has acquired a “major” interest in Chinese steel, per the complaint, Greenbrier, "a steel-dependent rail car manufacturer," as well as Air Lease, and Sun Bancorp.
  • The complaint seeks the department’s Office of the Inspector General to open an investigation.
  • "Secretary Ross has not violated any conflict of interest law or regulation,” Ross’ lawyer said, per Mangan.

The Office of Government Ethics previously found they had no evidence to contradict Ross' claims about his holdings — that his failure to sell his stock holdings was "inadvertent."

Go deeper

The social media addiction bubble

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Right now, everyone from Senate leaders to the makers of Netflix's popular "Social Dilemma" is promoting the idea that Facebook is addictive.

Yes, but: Human beings have raised fears about the addictive nature of every new media technology since the 18th century brought us the novel, yet the species has always seemed to recover its balance once the initial infatuation wears off.

Young people's next big COVID test

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Young, healthy people will be at the back of the line for coronavirus vaccines, and they'll have to maintain their sense of urgency as they wait their turn — otherwise, vaccinations won't be as effective in bringing the pandemic to a close.

The big picture: "It’s great young people are anticipating the vaccine," said Jewel Mullen, associate dean for health equity at the University of Texas. But the prospect of that enthusiasm waning is "a cause for concern," she said.

8 hours ago - World

New Zealand authorities charge 13 parties over deadly volcano eruption

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at New Zealand's parliament in Wellington. Photo: Mark Tantrum Photography via Getty Images

New Zealand authorities laid safety violation charges Monday against 10 organizations and three individuals over the fatal Whakaari/White Island volcanic disaster last December, per a statement from the agency WorksSafe.

Details: WorksSafe declined to name those charged as they may seek name suppression in court. But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said government agencies GNS Science, which monitors volcanic activity, and the National Emergency Management Agency were among those charged over the "horrific tragedy" that killed 22 people.