Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) said Friday that she would submit to a review from the Senate Ethics Committee about millions of dollars worth of stocks unloaded from her portfolio right as she received private briefings about the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m happy to answer any and all questions and would submit to whatever review is needed,” she said on CNBC’s “The Exchange,” as she emphasized that her and her husband’s stocks are controlled by third-party managers with whom she has no contact.
According to the Daily Beast, the first sale of stock owned jointly by her and her husband was January 24, the same day all the members of the Senate Health Committee, on which she sits, got a briefing on the virus from Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
All but two of her 29 stock transactions through mid-February were sales, and most of the stocks took a nosedive in value after they were unloaded. One of the two purchases was stock of Citrix, a tech company that has actually gone up in value during the pandemic, likely due to its teleworking software.
All the while, Loeffler tweeted about the “great job” President Donald Trump’s administration was doing, and promised that the country’s economic strength would see it through the crisis.
Loeffler has protested her innocence.
This is a ridiculous and baseless attack. 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.
— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) March 20, 2020
Loeffler is not the only senator found to have unloaded stocks at such a suspicious time.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) sold up to $1.7 million in stocks while the committee he heads, Senate Intelligence, was getting daily briefings about the virus’ progress.
News of Burr’s stock unloading hit just after NPR published a story containing comments he made to VIP attendees of a Capitol Hill Club lunch about the disease that were much more dire than what he was saying publicly.
Notably, Burr was one of just three senators to oppose a bill in 2012 that forbid senators and their staff from using private information for stock trading. Former President Barack Obama signed that bill into law soon after.