The Senate Ethics Committee announced Tuesday that it has dismissed insider trading complaints against Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) after allegations she misused privileged information to adjust her investment portfolio ahead of the pandemic-driven market crash.
Following a preliminary inquiry, the ethics panel “did not find evidence that your actions violated federal law, Senate rules, or standards of contact,” Deborah Sue Mayer, the committee’s chief counsel, wrote to Loeffler in a letter (pdf) dated June 16.
“Accordingly, consistent with its precedent, the committee has dismissed this matter,” Mayer wrote.
Loeffler commented on the panel’s decision in a post on Twitter: “The fake news media takes another loss. Exonerated. Again.”
Loeffler and her husband, Jeff Sprecher, who heads the company that owns the New York Stock Exchange, sold stocks after she and a half dozen senate lawmakers liquidated parts of their investment portfolios after receiving sensitive briefings on the severity of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus.
Allegations of wrongdoing, which Loeffler has repeatedly denied, revolved around claims that she and others leveraged for personal gain information from a closed-door Senate-only meeting that previewed COVID-19 impacts, potentially giving participants an edge on markets.
Loeffler has argued that she makes no decisions regarding her investments as they are managed by a third party without her involvement.
“I want to set the record straight: This is a ridiculous & baseless attack. I don’t 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 wrote on Twitter shortly after the allegations first surfaced.
One of the groups that asked the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate Loeffler’s stock transactions is Common Cause, whose director of money in politics and ethics told The Atlanta Journal Constitution that legislation should be passed compelling lawmakers to put their investments in blind trusts.
“Sen. Loeffler, together with other congresspeople, should have all of their stocks in blind trusts so that everyday Americans do not have to guess about whether their representatives are putting their own interests over the interests of their constituents,” said Beth Rotman, in remarks to the outlet.
The ethics panel’s decision to dismiss allegations against the Georgia senator comes weeks after the Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped investigations into stock trades made by Loeffler, as well as Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).
“The Senate Ethics Committee has come to the exact same conclusion as the U.S. Department of Justice: Senator Loeffler did absolutely nothing wrong and has been completely exonerated,” a spokesperson for Loeffler told The Hill. “Despite the obvious attempts by the media, political opportunists and liberal groups like CREW and Common Cause to distort reality, facts still matter and the truth is prevailing.”