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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

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).

Cuomo: "I am not going to resign"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo apologized Wednesday for acting in a way that made women feel "uncomfortable," but insisted that he has "never touched anyone inappropriately" and said he will not resign.

Driving the news: Cuomo reiterated in his first public appearance since sexual harassment allegations surfaced that he will fully cooperate with a team of independent investigators appointed by New York Attorney General Letitia James, but suggested that demands for his resignation from were simply "politics."

Facebook to lift political ad ban imposed after November election

Photo Illustration by Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook will finally allow advertisers to resume running political and social issue ads in the U.S. on Thursday, according to a company update.

The big picture: Facebook and rival Google instituted political ad bans to slow the spread of misinformation and curb confusion around the presidential election and its aftermath.