Savannah Morning News: Loeffler’s Actions Must be Investigated at Highest Levels

March 23, 2020

Savannah Morning News editorial says “Justice Department and…Securities and Exchange Commission should get involved” in investigating Loeffler and Burr’s “potentially illicit profiteering”

ATLANTA — In a recent editorial, the Savannah Morning News is calling for investigations of senators including Kelly Loeffler who appear to have engaged in “potentially illicit profiteering,” saying that not looking into Loeffler’s apparent self-dealing would be “irresponsible.”

The Savannah Morning News goes on to claim that, “Instead of rising to the call, our public servants played politics,” saying that Loeffler appeared to “grossly abuse” her Senate privileges in her stock sell-off scandal.

This editorial joins a wide chorus of condemnation for Loeffler’s actions, including a scathing editorial from the New York Times calling for a full ethics investigation “and, if warranted…criminal prosecution” for Loeffler — not to mention criticism from members of her own party over behavior that makes her “unfit” to govern as Loeffler and her allies struggle to  “tamp down the national eruption” over her selloff scandal.

Read why Loeffler must face high-level investigations from the Savannah Morning News:

Savannah Morning News: Editorial: Senators give public more reasons to distrust them

  • When it comes to the world’s most exclusive club, the privileges that come with membership in the United States Senate appear to have been grossly abused.
  • Several senators, including both of our own here in Georgia, made fortuitously timed stock transactions in the time between a late-January briefing to Senate members on the threat posed by the coronavirus and the sharp stock market declines that began in late February.
  • As for Sen. Loeffler, she made 29 transactions in the three weeks following the Senate briefing, including several the day of the closed-door meeting. Of those 29 trades, 27 were sales. One of her two buys was Citrix, a tech developer that specializes in teleworking software used by remote and work-from-home employees.
  • This situation calls for closer examination. Financial advisers make their livelihoods on their ability to anticipate shifts in the markets, and this could prove to be a circumstance free of wrongdoing. This could be coincidence, but it would be irresponsible to just assume as much and not investigate.
  • Sen. Burr has called on the Senate Ethics Committee to review his actions, but an investigation by his peers in a highly partisan climate is not enough. The Justice Department and watchdog agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission should get involved.
  • As troubling as the senators’ potentially illicit profiteering is, another disturbing point revolves around the Senate briefing itself.
  • Instead of rising to the call, our public servants played politics. Consider these Twitter posts from Sen. Loeffler, the first on Feb. 28 and the second on March 10: “Democrats have dangerously and intentionally misled the American people on Coronavirus readiness” and “Concerned about the #coronavirus? Remember this: The consumer is strong, the economy is strong & jobs are growing, which puts us in the best economic position to tackle #COVID19 & keep Americans safe.”
  • Perhaps much like her stock market trades, Loeffler doesn’t manage her Twitter account either.
  • The real shamefulness in our elected officials’ living in coronavirus denial — at least publicly — is we lost weeks of preparation time. Those hours and days were invaluable given the ongoing dearth of test kits and the looming shortage of medical supplies.

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