UNITED STATES—Four U.S. Senators sold their million dollar stocks days prior to the market crashing due to the Coronavirus.
Senators Dianne Feinstein of California, Richard Burr of North Carolina, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, all sold their stocks ahead of the market crash. The stocks were reportedly worth millions of dollars. Feinstein and her husband sold between $1.5 million and $6 million in stock in the California biotech company Allogene Therapeutics, between January 31 and February 18.
Feinstein took to Twitter to defend herself saying she has “no control” over her assets and the stocks in question were her husband’s transactions and not hers:
“During my Senate career I’ve held all assets in a blind trust of which I have no control. Reports that I sold any assets are incorrect, as are reports that I was at a January 24 briefing on coronavirus, which I was unable to attend,” Feinstein tweeted.
Burr sold stocks ranging between $628,000 and $1.72 million on February 13, a week before the impact of the virus outbreak resulted in the stock market plummeting significantly.Burr is an author of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, a law that helps determine the federal response to situations such as the coronavirus outbreak.
Loeffler and her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, sold stock on January 24, the same day she sat in on a briefing from two members of Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force. The couple sold stock between $1.2 million and $3.1 million. Additionally, the couple purchased stock in a maker of software that helps people work at home, which has many questioning their reasons for doing so now that many Americans have been forced to work from home due to the pandemic.
Inhofe sold up to $400,000 in stock on January 27 in companies such as PayPal, Apple, and the real estate company Brookfield Asset Management. Inhofe defended himself by issuing the following statement:
“The New York Times allegations are completely baseless and 100 percent false. I was not at the briefing on January 24. I was meeting with pro-life kids from Oklahoma here for the March for Life and the new nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania. I do not have any involvement in my investment decisions. In December 2018, shortly after becoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I instructed my financial adviser to move me out of all stocks and into mutual funds to avoid any appearance of controversy. My adviser has been doing so faithfully since that time and I am not aware of or consulted about any transactions.”