Senators Who Sold Off Stock Should Face Serious Consequences
In the midst of coronavirus response, panic, and recovery, we’re going to probably forget about a lot of the shenanigans that took place in the meanwhile.
We might forget that while the Trump administration was doing its best to get on top of the pandemic, China was covering up the fact that they had a major disease brewing.
We might forget that while health officials were scrambling to play catch-up, liberal pundits were whining about the “racism” of calling the damn disease a “Chinese virus.”
We might even forget that a company like GameStop had the audacity to declare itself an “essential retail business.”
But we should not forget this.
Using information gleaned from private coronavirus briefings unavailable to the wider public, four U.S. senators sold off millions of dollars in stock long before the market plunged. The senators: Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Burr (R-NC), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), and James Inhofe (R-OK). Unless they can come up with some reasonable explanation for their actions, they could face consequences up to and including prison time for insider trading.
According to reports, Feinstein sold off somewhere between $1 million and $6 million of her stock in Allogene Therapeutics between the end of January and February 18 – long before the American public had a decent idea of what calamities might be headed for the U.S. stock market.
Burr went to work shedding his stock on February 13, selling somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million worth of hospitality investments. Ten days later, at a private meeting with business leaders in Washington, he was sounding an alarm: “There’s one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history. It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.”
Loeffler attended a Coronavirus Task Force briefing on January 24. The same day, she and her husband (who happens to be the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange) sold off their stock and continued to do so through February 14, shedding between $1.2 million and $3.1 million in investments. They also found it prudent to invest in a company that makes software to help people work from home.
Inhofe sold as much as $400,000 in stock on January 27, getting rid of investments in PayPal, Apple, and real estate.
In a scathing monologue on Thursday, Fox News host tucker Carlson called on Burr to resign if he can’t properly explain his sell-off.
“He had inside information about what could happen to our country, which is now happening,” Carlson said. “But he didn’t warn the public. Instead, he dumped his shares in hotel stocks so he wouldn’t lose money and then he stayed silent.”
Insider trading isn’t the easiest crime to prosecute even in the most crystal-clear circumstances, but the feds need to scrutinize each and every one of these senators. If they are guilty of doing what it looks like they’re guilty of doing, they, at the very least, can no longer be trusted to hold public office.