Second Republican Senator Reportedly Sold Off Stock Holdings Ahead of Coronavirus Market Plummet
A new report indicates that Senate Intel Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) was not the only member of Congress who dumped a large portion of their stock portfolio before the coronavirus sent the market into a nosedive.
The Daily Beast reports that Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) — who is married to Jeffrey Sprecher, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and CEO of the business services company Intercontinental Exchange — attended a classified briefing about the coronavirus in late January. On that same day, she sold somewhere between $50,001 and $100,000 worth of stock from Resideo Technologies.
The Resideo stock was reported as “jointly owned” between Loeffler and her husband, and the stock price has plummeted since the transaction happened. The Beast goes on to report that Loeffler and Sprecher made over two dozen other stock sales afterwards, plus she has purchased between $100,000 and $250,000 worth of stock from Citrix, “which has seen a small bump in its stock price since Loeffler bought in as a result of coronavirus-induced market turmoil.”
The report on Loeffler comes shortly after NPR released audio of her colleague, Senator Burr, giving an alarming assessment of the coronavirus to a private gathering of wealthy, well-connected attendees. On top of that, ProPublica reported that while Burr was publicly shrugging off the threat level of the disease, he was also dumping up to $1.7 million worth of stock before the market took its dive.
The reports on Burr and Loeffler both raise questions about whether they can be charged for insider trading. Burr has hit back at NPR for how his words were characterized, but even though Loeffler has yet to issue a public response, here are some tweets from her in recent weeks where she insisted the economy was strong and Democrats were to blame for “dangerously and intentionally” misleading the country.
There's no denying that @POTUS’s economy is on fire, bringing more jobs & opportunity for all Georgians & Americans:
✔Wages are ⬆️
✔7.3 million jobs added since 2016
✔3.6% unemployment rate
✔Dow Jones hits record high
We can't let the Left stop this economic boom.
— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) February 11, 2020
Democrats have dangerously and intentionally misled the American people on #Coronavirus readiness.
— Kelly Loeffler (@KLoeffler) February 28, 2020
Concerned about #coronavirus? Remember this:
The consumer is strong, the economy is strong, & jobs are growing, which puts us in the best economic position to tackle #COVID19 & keep Americans safe.
— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) March 10, 2020
Loeffler was appointed to her senate seat by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp after her predecessor, Johnny Isakson, retired for health reasons. She will be competing against incumbent congressman Doug Collins (R) for the job in the state’s special election later in the year.
UPDATE – 12:46 a.m. ET: Loeffler has issued a response.
As confirmed in the periodic transaction report to Senate Ethics, I was informed of these purchases and sales on February 16, 2020 — three weeks after they were made.
— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) March 20, 2020
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