UPDATE (04/02/20): Vanity Fair is now reporting that a few weeks after their massive stock sell-off, Sen. Loeffler and her husband invested over $200,000 in Dupont de Nemours. The company is a major manufacturer of personal protective equipment. Meanwhile, the FBI and DOJ have contacted Sen. Burr about his suspicious stock sales.
Despite publicly downplaying the coronavirus crisis, at least four Republican senators and one Democratic senator (who did not make misleading statements) made massive stock sales weeks before the market crashed over pandemic fears.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), whose husband is the New York Stock Exchange’s chair and CEO, began stock sell-offs on the same day as a January all-Senate coronavirus briefing.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) similarly minimized coronavirus’s dangers but [made between $5 and $25 million from an early March stock sale.
Senate Intelligence Chair Richard Burr (R-NC) also publicly downplayed the coronavirus crisis while privately selling assets. In a Feb. 7 op-ed co-written with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Burr claimed the US was “better prepared than ever before” for emerging disease threats. Days later, Burr sold up to $1.7 million in stocks.
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) sold nearly $400,000 in stock holdings on [January 27] (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-20/senators-sold-stock-after-coronavirus-briefings-in-january) after receiving a classified briefing as a member of the Senate Intelligence committee.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) did not make misleading statements to the public about the pandemic, but as a member of the Senate Intelligence committee, she and her husband sold $1.5-$6 million in shares in a biotech firm after receiving classified briefings. She told reporters that her assets are in a blind trust and she had no awareness of the transaction.
On Wednesday, March 18th, the same Republican senators who made oddly prescient stock sales opposed an amendment to expand paid sick leave to millions of Americans.
Senators Inhofe, Loeffler, Johnson, Burr, and any other political representatives who have profited from insider knowledge of the coronavirus crisis while misleading the public must resign immediately.
Senator Feinstein needs to make thorough public statements that fully explain her role, if any, in her blind trust’s lucrative stock sell off, timed so close to classified briefings.