Senators Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler face calls to resign after it was revealed the Republican lawmakers sold off stock holdings before coronavirus crashed the market.
Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sold off up $1.72 million of his holdings on Feb. 13 after receiving briefings on the then-impending pandemic.
Likewise, Loeffler and her husband sold off seven figures’ worth of stock holdings on Jan. 24, the same day her Senate Health Committee, hosted a private briefing from administration officials, including the CDC director, on the coronavirus.
Under the STOCK Act, lawmakers and their staff are prohibited from making trades based on nonpublic information.
Sharp rebukes came from the left and right.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson called for Burr’s resignation and prosecution for his actions.
“Maybe there’s an honest explanation for what he did; if there is, he should share it with the rest of us immediately,” Carlson said in a broadcast on Thursday night. “Otherwise, he must resign from the Senate and face prosecution for insider trading.”
U.S. Rep. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, D-New York, tweeted, “As Intel chairman, [Burr] got private briefings about coronavirus weeks ago. Burr knew how bad it would be. He told the truth to his wealthy donors while assuring the public that we were fine. THEN he sold off $1.6 million in stock before the fall. He needs to resign.”
National Public Radio did the initial reporting on Burr’ actions, including remarks he made at a private function.
Burr has dismissed the NPR report “a tabloid-style hit piece.”
Facing calls on social media to resign, Loeffler branded those attacks as “ridiculous and baseless.”
“I do not make investment decisions for my portfolio. Investment decisions are made by multiple third-party advisors without my or my husband’s knowledge or involvement,” she tweeted.
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