Four senators have reportedly been accused of selling off stocks before the effects of the coronavirus crisis hit the markets.
Among those include Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kelly Loeffler (D-Ga.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Jim Inhofe (Okla.). Feinstein, Burr and Inhofe are being accused of selling the stocks after a coronavirus briefing in late January.
According to reports, between Jan. 31 and Feb. 18, both Feinstein and her husband sold between $1.5 million and $6 million in stock in Allogene Therapeutics, a biotech company.
Feinstein’s spokesman Tom Mentzer claimed Feinstein did not have any involvement in the sale directly.
“All of Senator Feinstein’s assets are in a blind trust,” Mentzer said, adding, “She has no involvement in her husband’s financial decisions.”
Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, reportedly sold between $628,000 and $1.72 million in 33 separate transactions on Feb. 13, according to ProPublica.
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson called on Burr to explain or resign during his broadcast on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“Maybe there’s an honest explanation for what he did, if there is, he should share it with the rest of us immediately,” Carlson said, continuing, “Otherwise, he must resign from the Senate and face prosecution for insider trading.”
Carlson called Burr’s alleged actions “a moral crime” as it comes at a time of crisis in the United States.
Burr was not afraid to respond to these allegations. He reacted to a report published by NPR that released a recording of Burr sharing warnings of the economic impact the virus was going to have on the economy with private donors.
In a Twitter thread, Burr listed the reasons why the NPR report was a “tabloid-style hit piece.”
“NPR knowingly and irresponsibly misrepresented a speech I gave last month about the coronavirus threat,” Burr said.
In a tabloid-style hit piece today, NPR knowingly and irresponsibly misrepresented a speech I gave last month about the coronavirus threat.
Let me set the record straight. 1/
— Richard Burr (@SenatorBurr) March 19, 2020
Kelly Loeffler also responded to allegations that she sold stock with her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, who is chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.
According to reports, the couple sold $1.2 million and $3.1 million between Jan. 24 and Feb. 14.
In a tweet, she explained that decisions are made by advisors, and not her or her husband.
“This is a ridiculous and baseless attack. I do not make investment decisions for my portfolio,” Loeffler wrote, adding, “Investment decisions are made by multiple third-party advisors without my or my husband’s knowledge or involvement.”
I imagine none of these people are calling and trading stocks themselves. I also imagine their interests are held in blind trusts. It’s also possible the actual traders could have enough imagination to foresee what is about to happen.
However, it should be thoroughly investigated to see if the traders got any heads up. I know I’ve lost a shit-load and I am disgusted at the thought of our representatives being able to feather their nests while their constituents are facing ruin. I’ll also go way out on a limb and predict that the number of those who benefitted from this goes way beyond four.
Fullest extent of the law, ladies and gentlemen. Fullest extent of the law.