Sen. Loeffler Denies Insider Trading, 2020 Opponent Rep. Collins ‘Sickened’

Sunday, 22 Mar, 2020

Burr is chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which receives frequent briefings about threats facing the country, and has experience responding to public-health crises.

But Senator Thom Tillis, Burr's Republican colleague from the Tar Heel State, said in a tweet Friday that "given the circumstances, Senator Burr owes North Carolinians an explanation".

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang said on Twitter that any lawmaker who adjusted their personal stock portfolios before warning the American people about the threat posed by coronavirus "should probably not be in a job that serves the public interest".

But overnight, this has evolved into a different kind of controversy. THEN he sold off $1.6 million in stock before the fall.

During an interview segment on his program, Carlson repeatedly pressed Loeffler to explain how her selling of $3.1 million in stocks just weeks ahead of the market crash on March 9 did not impede upon the Stock Act, which prohibits lawmakers from using non-public information in stock trades.

The New York Times notes that Inhofe sold up to $400,000 of stock on January 27. How is that a defense? Loeffler stands alongside at least three other USA senators accused of conducting dozens of transactions just as they received reports of how bad the economy was about to get amid the COVID-19 spread.

Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who as the Intelligence committee chair was sitting in on regular confidential briefings about the novel coronavirus, sold his stocks even as he publicly downplayed the risk of the outbreak to voters.

In the following weeks, more stocks were liquidated by the former Bakkt CEO and her husband alike.

Now, to be very clear here: There is no clear evidence that either Burr or Loeffler used insider information to make decisions about their portfolio or committed any sort of crime.

He told reporters: "They said they did nothing wrong".

The wave of news kicked off early Thursday morning (19 March), when the United States public broadcaster NPR obtained an audio recording of Senator Burr speaking at a non-partisan private event in Washington on 27 February.

GoLocal reached out two Rhode Island Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse asking if the Senate Ethics Committee or the Securities and Exchange Commission should review the trades.

"All of Senator Feinstein's assets are in a blind trust", her spokesman said. "She has no involvement in her husband's financial decisions".

"This is a ridiculous and baseless attack". He said of the senators: "I find them to be honorable people".

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (R-New York), a leader among the Democratic party's progressive wing, tweeted a call for Burr's resignation Thursday night.

Loeffler had already been criticized for potential conflicts of interest when she was appointed.

Meanwhile, Loeffler also asserted that the economic fall-out from the coronavirus crisis has been fast-moving, and contended that coronavirus wasn't at the top of her mind when her stocks were sold off between January 24 and mid-February.

"I'm just wondering about the broader question of assuring the public that the economy is fine and coronavirus can be managed when, of course given your position, you know that that's not true", Carlson said.