Senators dumped millions in stocks before market crashed


Four senators sold stocks in January and February which some say was the result of insider trading. The NY Times strongly suggested as much in an article titled, Senator Richard Burr Sold a Fortune in Stocks as G.O.P. Played Down Coronavirus Threat. It was mostly directed at Senator Burr.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, Kelly Loeffler, Richard Burr, and James Inhofe collectively dumped 11 million dollars worth of stock, the NY Times and Daily Beast reported.

The data is listed on a U.S. Senate website containing financial disclosures from Senate members.


Richard Burr, Chair of the Senate Intel Committee, said he is fully transparent and asked for an ethics review.  He dumped $1.7 million in stocks including, hotels, health investments, drugs. Some of the stocks he sold are not in trouble. He issued a statement saying he relied on news reports and listed them.

He also wasn’t at the January 24th briefing in which the virus was discussed, which was mentioned in the Times article.


Feinstein, who serves as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and her husband sold between $1.5 million and $6 million in stock in California biotech company Allogene Therapeutics, between Jan. 31 and Feb. 18, The New York Times reported.

When questioned by the newspaper, a spokesman for the Democrat from San Francisco said Feinstein wasn’t directly involved in the sale.

“All of Senator Feinstein’s assets are in a blind trust,” the spokesman, Tom Mentzer, told the Times. “She has no involvement in her husband’s financial decisions.”


Kelly Loeffler and her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, sold stock Jan. 24, the same day she sat in on a briefing from two members of Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, The Daily Beast reported.

Between that day and Feb. 14, the couple sold stock worth a total between $1.2 million and $3.1 million, the report said. In addition to the sales, they also purchased stock in a maker of software that helps people work at home – just before millions of Americans were forced to leave their offices because of the outbreak, the report said.

Senator Loeffler appeared on Fox & Friends this morning, saying ‘This is ridiculous,’ and tweeted evidence of her innocence:


Senator Inhofe responded in a similar fashion:

Senator Inhofe tweeted, “The New York Times allegations are completely baseless and 100 percent false. I was not at the briefing on January 24. I was meeting with pro-life kids from Oklahoma here for the March for Life and the new nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania.”

“I do not have any involvement in my investment decisions. In December 2018, shortly after becoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I instructed my financial advisor to move me out of all stocks and into mutual funds to avoid any appearance of controversy,” he continued.

“My advisor has been doing so faithfully since that time and I am not aware of or consulted about any transactions,” he concluded.


Correction: We originally criticized the NYTimes article but it appears that at least Burr did not have a blind trust. Burr dumped $1.7 million in stocks.

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