Sen. Loeffler Responds to Critics of $18M Stock Purge

Lawmakers sold a lot of stock in the pandemic's early days
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2020 1:30 PM CDT
Sen. Loeffler Responds to Critics of $18M Stock Purge
Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., left, with her husband Jeffrey Sprecher, center, participates in a re-enactment of her swearing-in Monday Jan. 6, 2020, by Vice President Mike Pence in the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Sen. Kelly Loeffler is taking a stand against critics of her recent stock purge—one of several by lawmakers as the coronavirus began to spread. "It's absolutely false," Loeffler said Friday on Fox News. "And, it could not be true." CNBC notes that Loeffler and husband Jeffrey Sprecher—who is chairman of the Intercontinental Exchange and New York Stock Exchange—began selling stock Jan. 24, the day Loeffler and other senators received a briefing on the spread of coronavirus. Those sales came to as much as $3.1 million, but Loeffler insists she knew nothing about it. "So, if you actually look at the personal transaction reports that were filed, it notices at the bottom that I'm only informed of my transactions after they occur—several weeks," she said.

"So, certainly, those transactions—at least on my behalf—were a mix of buys and sells. Very routine for my portfolio." Loeffler's spokeswoman has called the story "a ridiculous and baseless attack" and said the sales were "made by multiple third-party advisers." But government watchdogs are demanding an ethics investigation, while CBS News notes that Loeffler and Sprecher sold another $15.3 million in ICE shares on March 11, when the coronavirus sell-off was well underway. Politico looks at other lawmakers who unloaded stocks earlier this year, including Sen. Richard Burr—who ditched up to $1.72 million—and those who sold on a smaller scale, like Reps. Susan Davis and Diane Feinstein. (Read more on the stock purge.)

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