Sen. Dianne Feinstein is reportedly part of a small group of senators who sold off millions of dollars worth of personal stock days before the market crashed due to the coronavirus crisis.
The California Democrat and three of her Senate colleagues sold major holdings in February just before the stock market plunge, according to U.S. Senate disclosure records.
Feinstein, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with Republican Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, all sold off stock around the same time, though a spokesman said Feinstein wasn’t directly involved in the transactions.
The report about Feinstein, whose home city of San Francisco was just put under a “shelter-in-place” order along with the state of California, emerged as Burr has come under fire for dumping more than $1.6 million from his personal portfolio just ahead of the market crash.
Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, reportedly sold off the stocks in a series of more than 30 transactions according to ProPublica which first reported on the sale, prompting calls for his resignation.
“He dumped his shares in hotel stocks so he wouldn’t lose money, and then he stayed silent,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson said Thursday. “Maybe there is an honest explanation for what he did. If there is, he should share it with us immediately. Otherwise, he must resign from the Senate and face prosecution for insider trading.”
Tucker goes scorched earth on Sen. Burr, should ‘face prosecution’ if $1.7m stock dump is true https://t.co/ZcTwvqxHCM
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 20, 2020
Feinstein and her husband reportedly sold between $1.5 million and $6 million in stock in Allogene Therapeutics, a California biotech company. Those transactions occurred between Jan. 31 and Feb. 18, The New York Times reported.
Inhofe sold stock in PayPal, Apple and Brookfield Asset Management, valued at nearly $400,000 on one day, Jan. 27, disclosure records indicated. Other reports also surfaced about Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin who sold over $5 million of stock, though it was later reported that it was related to a family business.
I deleted a tweet about Ron Johnson’s stock dump because “stock dump” wasn’t a accurate description — Johnson sold off his share in his family’s company — here’s the filing https://t.co/plOM1tIGF7
— Alex Thomas (@AlexThomasDC) March 20, 2020
Loeffler reportedly sold stock worth millions of dollars starting on Jan. 24, the same day the Georgia lawmaker tweeted about attending a private Senate briefing about the coronavirus. Along with her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, they sold stock they held in companies including Exxon Mobil, Ross Stores, and AutoZone.
Loeffler, who was appointed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp after Sen. Johnny Isakson retired for health reasons, slammed the “ridiculous and baseless attack” against her, asserting that investment decisions are not made by her directly.
As confirmed in the periodic transaction report to Senate Ethics, I was informed of these purchases and sales on February 16, 2020 — three weeks after they were made.
— Senator Kelly Loeffler (@SenatorLoeffler) March 20, 2020
A spokesman for Feinstein also claimed she was not involved in the decision to sell the stocks.
“All of Senator Feinstein’s assets are in a blind trust,” Tom Mentzer said in a statement. “She has no involvement in her husband’s financial decisions.”
I asked Feinstein’s office about this. Her press secretary said: “All of Senator Feinstein’s assets are in a blind trust. She has no involvement in any of her husband’s financial decisions.” https://t.co/yY6HQbtPVu
— Charles Я. Davis (@charliearchy) March 20, 2020
Liberals quickly argued that the Republican lawmakers were guilty of insider trading while Feinstein’s actions were benign as the biotech shares were sold when they reached a low price and the value has risen since.
About the Feinstein case: It was her husband who sold between $500K and $1-mil of a biotech stock on 1/31 — when the stock was trading near its lowest ebb (it subsequently rebounded a bit.) This action wouldn’t seem to be on the scumbag level of Burr’s & Loeffler’s maneuverings. https://t.co/RVeAB3sV9f
— Kurt Loder (@kurt_loder) March 20, 2020
Feinstein has a blind trust.
That is what she is supposed to do.
Someone else is making those decisions.
Every Senator that doesn’t have their investments in a blind trust should be investigated for corruption, eg Loeffler, Burr,
— Professing Professor (@Professing_Prof) March 20, 2020
Others on Twitter had plenty to say on Feinstein’s role in the controversial reports, with some calling for the resignation of any and all, regardless of party affiliation.
Dianne Feinstein being corrupt!? NO WAY!
I NEVER EXPECTED THIS
(She’s been corrupt for almost all of her political career… )
— The Boy 🤟🏻🇳🇱🌹 (@AnalPowder) March 20, 2020
You think Dianne Feinstein is worried about a little insider trading?
She employed a Chinese spy as a trusted aid for decades and nobody seemed to care.
— thebradfordfile™ (@thebradfordfile) March 20, 2020
She’s a democrat, so the media doesn’t care.
— James Crooks #NFB (@JimCinSC) March 20, 2020
Look into Feinstein.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) March 20, 2020
I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat
If you trade with inside info to enrich yourself during a crisis you are a disgrace
Resign, apologize, and donate all earnings to families of victims of China Virus
The Ruling class is a disgrace to a suffering America right now
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) March 20, 2020
In a true bi-partisan effort both Republicans like Richard Burr and Democrats like Dianne Feinstein have come together to figure out a way to further enrich themselves during a pandemic. The system’s fine folks!
— Ron Placone (@RonPlacone) March 20, 2020
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