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.”
Watch his comments below:
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 between $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.”
As confirmed in the periodic transaction report to Senate Ethics, I was informed of these purchases and sales on February 16, 2020 — three weeks after they were made.
— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) March 20, 2020
The New York Times notes that Inhofe sold up to $400,000 of stock on Jan. 27.
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