Another senator whose stocks were sold earlier this year before the stock market sharply declined said she’d welcome an investigation into the sales.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, told the Senate Ethics Committee that an independent investigation of sales he made are warranted. Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), the newest member of the body, said she’s also welcome a probe into sales of her shares.
“I’m happy to answer any and all questions and would submit to whatever review is needed,” she said on CNBC’s “The Exchange.”
Loeffler said in a statement that investment decisions for her portfolio are made by third-party advisers. She wasn’t informed of the sales and purchases until Feb. 16, three weeks after they were made.
“I am very confident that we have followed the letter and spirit of the law,” the senator said during her television appearance.
Loeffler’s husband, Jeff Sprecher, is CEO of the New York Stock Exchange and its holding company, Intercontinental Exchange.
Intercontinental Exchange said in a statement that the couple’s over two dozen transactions, which were mostly sales, were in compliance with the company’s policies.
The sales started on Jan. 24, the same day most senators received a closed-door briefing about the threat of the new CCP virus, which causes the potentially deadly COVID-19 disease.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mishandling allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
The sales totaled between $1.3 million and $3.1 million and included Exxon Mobil Corporation, a worldwide oil company, and Resideo Technologies, a company that makes smart home products.
Loeffler also bought several stocks, including up to $250,000 in Citrix shares, according to Senate disclosure forms. The company that sells software helping people working from home.
Loeffler described the activity as a mix of buys and sells. Some of the trades were “quite bullish,” she said during the CNBC appearance.
Two groups filed ethics complaints against Loeffler and other senators who sold stocks after the briefing, citing the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, which bars members of Congress from using “non-public information” for making a private profit.
“These potential violations of insider trading laws and the STOCK Act by these Senators, outlined in widespread media reports, show what appears to be contempt for the law and further a contempt for the American people these Senators have sworn to serve,” Karen Hobert Flynn, president of one of the groups, Common Cause, said in a statement.
Loeffler was sworn into office on Jan. 6 after being selected by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to replace Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), who left office early because of health issues.
The seat is up for election in November.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), who is challenging Loeffler for the seat, condemned the senator in a statement, writing, “People are losing their jobs, their businesses, their retirements, and even their lives and Kelly Loeffler is profiting off their pain?”
“I’m sickened just thinking about it,” he added.