DPG Calls for Senate Ethics Committee Investigation of Loeffler and Perdue

March 20, 2020

After news that Perdue and Loeffler sold stock after all-Senate briefing on coronavirus outbreak, Chair Williams calls for Ethics Committee to investigate

ATLANTA — Following recent news that Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue spent the last few weeks selling stocks while investing in telework and pharmaceutical stocks after a private all-Senate briefing on the coronavirus outbreak, Democratic Party of Georgia (DPG) Chair Nikema Williams released the following statement:

“Both Senators Perdue and Loeffler betrayed the public trust when they made massive stock sell-offs after receiving a private briefing, and they must explain themselves to Georgia families who are suffering during this pandemic. Each should submit to a full investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee so we can fully understand if they used their Senate positions to profit off this public health crisis.”

AJC: Perdue, Loeffler among senators whose stock trading during coronavirus raises questions

  • Georgia’s two U.S. senators bought and sold stocks during the same time they were receiving briefings on the coronavirus outbreak, leading to questions about whether they used inside information to guide their financial dealings.
  • U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler both were wealthy before they arrived on Capitol Hill, but there is new scrutiny surrounding financial decisions they and other members have made during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Perdue in roughly 100 transactions bought and sold in equal amounts, although exact figures cannot be determined because senators are only required to report transactions within ranges. 
  • Loeffler unloaded stocks at a much more rapid pace than she made purchases, taking money out of the market.
  • Perdue’s sales fall anywhere between $148,050 to $995,000 and his purchases are in the range of $141,043 to $890,000.
  • On Jan. 24, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee — Loeffler is a member — and the Foreign Relations Committee — Perdue is a member — held a briefing on coronavirus that was open to the entire Senate.
  • Among [Loeffler’s] purchases made between late January and mid-February was up to $250,000 in stocks for Citrix, a company that provides work-from-home software, and up to $250,000 invested in Oracle, the computer technology company.
  • Overall, she sold between $1.3 million to $3.1 million in stocks and her total purchases were no more than $500,000 and could be as little as $200,002.
  • He invested up to $245,000 in Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company, during multiple transactions around the same time that members of Congress began sounding the alarm that more should be done to address the spread of the virus.
  • Perdue also sold up to $165,000 in stocks for Caesar Entertainment, the casino and hotel company whose facilities have shuttered to help combat the spread of the virus.

The Daily Beast: Sen. Kelly Loeffler Dumped Millions in Stock After Coronavirus Briefing

  • The Senate’s newest member sold off seven figures worth of stock holdings in the days and weeks after a private, all-senators meeting on the novel coronavirus that subsequently hammered U.S. equities.
  • Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) reported the first sale of stock jointly owned by her and her husband on Jan. 24, the very day that her committee, the Senate Health Committee, hosted a private, all-senators briefing from administration officials, including the CDC director and Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institutes of Health of the United States, on the coronavirus.
  • That first transaction was a sale of stock in the company Resideo Technologies worth between $50,001 and $100,000. The company’s stock price has fallen by more than half since then, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average overall has shed approximately 10,000 points, dropping about a third of its value.
  • One of Loeffler’s two purchases was stock worth between $100,000 and $250,000 in Citrix, a technology company that offers teleworking software and which has seen a small bump in its stock price since Loeffler bought in as a result of coronavirus-induced market turmoil.
  • In the weeks after her spate of stock trades, Loeffler sought to downplay the public health and financial threats posed by the coronavirus.
  • Between [her appointment] and Jan. 23 she did not report a single stock transaction from accounts owned by her individually or by her and her husband jointly.
  • Between Jan. 24 and Feb. 14, by contrast, Loeffler reported selling stock jointly owned with her husband worth between $1,275,000 and $3,100,000, according to transaction reports filed with Senate ethics officials.
  • The 15 stocks that Loeffler reported selling have lost more than a third of their value, on average, since she reported offloading them.
  • From the beginning of her tenure, she has faced scrutiny over potential conflicts of interest. Her position on a Senate subcommittee that oversees futures markets “gives Kelly Loeffler a direct position in overseeing her and her husband’s financial enterprises,” Craig Holman, lobbyist for the ethics group Public Citizen, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution in February.
  • Unlike other senators, Loeffler’s finances are directly tied to her electoral fate. She has pledged to spend $20 million on her bid to hold on to her seat when she faces voters for the first time this November.

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