- Senator Richard Burr sold between $600k-$1.7 million in stock after receiving a private briefing
- Senator Kelly Loeffler and her husband sold millions in stock after her Senate Committee hosted a private briefing on the Corona virus
- Members of Congress claim no knowledge of their stock trades, but forms reveal assets are not held in blind trust
In the latest episode, Peter Schweizer explains how members of Congress sold stock shortly after being briefed about the impact of the Coronavirus around the world, and shows us why their claims about their assets don’t hold water.
While Congress wrestled for weeks to pass legislation responding to the Wuhan virus, some Senators were much quicker to act when it came to their own personal fortunes.
According to their financial disclosures, Republican Senators Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler, along with Democrat Diane Feinstein all sold large amounts of stock in advance of the stock market collapse. Many of these transactions occurred shortly after Congress was briefed behind closed doors by US officials on the potential impact the Corona virus could have on the country.
Senator Burr, who is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and worth a reported 1.8 million dollars, has the most troubling pattern of behavior.
On February the 4th, Senator Burr received a private briefing on how other countries were dealing with the impact of the global pandemic.[i] Burr, who also sits on the Senate Health committee received another briefing on February the 12th.
The very next day, Senator Burr sold 33 stock holdings worth between $600,000 and 1.7 million dollars.[ii]
Had he not made those trades, Burr’s portfolio would have been down by 30 percent within weeks.
But Burr is hardly alone.
Senator Kelly Loeffler, who is married to the Chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, also sits on the Senate Health committee. On January 24th, the same day that Senate Committee received a briefing about the spread of the global pandemic, Loeffler and her husband began selling stock.[iii]
They eventually unloaded 3 million worth of shares in 27 separate transactions.[iv]
Two days after the Senate received a classified briefing on the Corona Virus, Loeffler’s husband Jeffrey Sprecher sold $3.5 million dollars worth of his own company’s stock.
Senator Diane Feinstein’s financial disclosures expose a similar trend. Within weeks of receiving a private Senate briefing, Feinstein’s husband unloaded between 1 and 5 million dollars worth of stock.[v]
Even US House members got in on the action, with California Representative Susan Davis selling airline and cruise industry stock in advance of the stock market collapse.[vi]
Burr says his trades were not based on inside information but by information gained by watching cable news.
Senator Loeffler insists that her family’s stock trades are made by third parties without her knowledge because of her husband’s position at the New York Stock Exchange.
Senator Feinstein makes a similar claim, saying that her funds are in a blind trust. The trouble is, the Feinstein stock trade involved her husband’s assets, which most definitely are not in a blind trust.
Both Senators are trying to create the impression that their trades must have been clean because their assets were in a blind trust. But let’s be clear: congressional disclosure forms have a box that must be checked if your assets are indeed in a blind trust. Neither Senator did so concerning the trades in question.
And, let’s keep in mind – there are still dozens of US Senators who have yet to disclose any trades they might have made in the same time period.
Back in 2011, I wrote a book that exposed the alarming patterns by which members of Congress’s stock portfolios were outperforming the nation’s top hedge funds. That book led to the passage of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act.
Sadly, the recent activities of Congress show that, even in times of the most unimaginable crisis, our nation’s health still takes a backseat to Washington’s wealth.