Loeffler Hasn't Backed Up Her Defense on Stock Deals

Senator won't name the financial advisers she said acted after her coronavirus briefing
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2020 9:49 AM CDT
Loeffler Hasn't Backed Up Her Defense on Stock Deals
Sen. Kelly Loeffler made a series of stock deals after being briefed about the pandemic.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Files)

Accused of profiting off insider information, Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler defended her stock deals by saying they were made by financial consultants acting on their own. So far, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, she's presented no evidence of that. Loeffler and her husband, Jeff Sprecher, sold stocks in a list of companies after senators were briefed in January about the coming pandemic. She cashed in stock in an online travel booking company, for instance, just before the US blocked travel from Europe, per the Daily Beast. Members of both parties have called for investigations of the deals or for Loeffler's resignation. "There is a range of different decisions made every day with regard to my savings and 401(k) portfolios that I am not involved in,” Loeffler, a Republican, told Fox News, per the Journal-Constitution. "And certainly, like any other trade, you can’t see into the future."

Loeffler has not said who's managing her portfolio, or how, or what the arrangement is, or whether she and her husband give even general instructions. Sprecher is chairman of the New York Stock Exchange; estimates put the couple's wealth at more than $500 million. In a review of her financial disclosures, the Journal-Constitution found the couple sold stock in retail companies and bought stock in a company that produces COVID-19 protective garments. Loeffler had toured the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on March 5 with President Trump, days before he announced the travel ban. It's illegal for senators to profit from information that is provided to them because of their office and is not provided to the public. A spokesman for Sen. Mitch McConnell said Saturday that Loeffler still has the Republic leader's support. (Another senator's stock sales are being investigated.)

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