Sen. Kelly Loeffler Defends Shady Stock Dump After Private Senate Meeting On Coronavirus

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) takes her seat for a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on March 3, 2020. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
March 20, 2020 10:03 a.m.

Early Friday morning, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) denied any wrongdoing when she sold millions of dollars worth of stocks soon after a closed-door briefing with the entire Senate on the COVID-19 pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on the stock market.

“This is a ridiculous and baseless attack,” the senator said in a statement after the Daily Beast reported on the sales. “I do not make investment decisions for my portfolio. Investment decisions are made by multiple third-party advisors without my or my husband’s knowledge or involvement.”

Loeffler sits on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which held a private briefing with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the coronavirus for all senators on January 24.

The Daily Beast reported on Thursday that she sold a stock valued at $50,001 and $100,000 that same day, and she proceeded to make 26 stock transactions in sales until mid-February.

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News of the senator’s stock sales came shortly after ProPublica published a report on fellow GOP colleague Sen. Richard Burr’s (R-NC) astonishing stock dump of $1.6 million on February 13. As the chair of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Burr received frequent briefings on the coronavirus outbreak, and his committee had co-hosted the all-Senate briefing on January 24.

On Friday, Burr issued a statement claiming he had relied “solely on public news reports” when he chose to sell the stocks.

“Specifically, I closely followed CNBC’s daily health and science reporting out of its Asia bureaus at the time,” he said.

“Understanding the assumption many could make in hindsight however, I spoke this morning with the chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and asked him to open a complete review of the matter with full transparency,” the North Carolina Republican added.

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