The Hill reports four senators sold stocks shortly after a January Senate briefing on the novel coronavirus outbreak, unloading shares that plummeted in value a month later as the stock market crashed in the face of a global pandemic.
According to financial disclosures, Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) each sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in stocks within days of the Senate holding a classified briefing on Jan. 24 with administration officials on the threat of the coronavirus outbreak.
The sales raise questions about whether the senators violated the STOCK Act, a law that bans members of Congress from making financial trades based on nonpublic information.
Loeffler and her husband, who is the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, sold at least $355,000 in stocks between Jan. 24 and 31, according to Senate records, after the coronavirus briefing hosted by the Senate Health and Foreign Relations committees.
The senator and her husband also sold $890,000 in stocks from Feb. 5 to 14, days after the first confirmed coronavirus cases emerged in the U.S. but nearly two weeks before community spread of the disease was confirmed within the country.
The sales, worth at least $1.2 million together, saved Loeffler and her husband from steep losses they would have taken after the stock market’s crash began Feb. 24.
Loeffler said in a pair of early Friday tweets that she doesn’t control her and her husband’s financial assets and was informed of the sales on February 16.
“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,” Loeffler tweeted.
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
Read more here.