THIS IS A COMPREHENSIVE TIMELINE OF GEORGIA'S GOP SENATORS' STOCK TRADING SCANDALS
While Georgians were trying to protect their health in the coronavirus outbreak, Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler were apparently more focused on protecting their assets. Both of Georgia’s Republican Senators repeatedly downplayed the virus while selling off stocks as the markets began to tank and investing in companies poised to benefit from the pandemic.
With so many new developments in their ongoing stock scandals, the Democratic Party of Georgia is ready to break down the timeline of Perdue and Loeffler’s unseemly trades:
Loeffler’s Senate HELP Committee hosts a private all-Senate briefing on the coronavirus threat — the same day as her first reported joint stock sale [The Daily Beast, 3/19/20].
The same day of the private Senate briefing, Perdue buys up to $65,000 worth of stock in DuPont , his first purchase of many in a “company that supplies personal protective equipment” [AJC, 4/6/20].
Loeffler and her husband dump nearly $100,000 worth of retail stocks [AJC, 4/1/20] — one of their first major sell-offs in the retail industry ahead of a nationwide downturn.
Loeffler’s husband and New York Stock Exchange Chairman Jeffrey Sprecher sells off $3.5 million worth of stock in their company ICE, just over 30 days after Loeffler’s private Senate briefing — the amount of notice ICE requires executives to give before buying or selling shares [CBS, 3/20/20].
Perdue completes his purchases of up to $260,000 worth of Pfizer stock [AJC, 4/6/20] the same day he tweets support for President Trump “expediting vaccine development.” Pfizer soon announced in March that it was working to develop a coronavirus vaccine [Barrons, 3/17/20] after a White House meeting [Global Biodefense, 3/2/20].
Loeffler’s husband buys over $100,000 worth of stock in DuPont, “a company that makes COVID-19 protective garments” [AJC, 4/1/2020]. Over the next few weeks, her husband will buy another $100,000 worth of DuPont stock while Loeffler still downplays the coronavirus threat.
Perdue makes his final purchase of DuPont stock and his final sale of Caesars, having bought up to $185,000 worth of stock in DuPont while dumping up to $195,000 in Caesars stock [AJC, 4/6/20].
Loeffler and her husband buy $46,000 worth of stock in a travel booking company the day she traveled with President Donald Trump to the CDC [Bloomberg, 4/2/20].
Loeffler claims “the economy is strong” and “jobs are growing” even after she and her husband dumped stocks — and the very same day her husband makes another $12,000 purchase of DuPont stock and they begin selling off stock in a travel booking company she bought only days before [Bloomberg, 4/2/20].
Loeffler and Sprecher sell off another $15.3 million worth of ICE shares and unload the rest of their stock in a travel booking company — just as Trump announces air travel restrictions right after the markets close [CBS, 3/20/20].
As the Daily Beast breaks the news of Loeffler’s stock sell-off scandal, one Republican candidate openly calls for her resignation and calls her “unfit to represent Georgia” as Republican House Speaker David Ralston expresses worries about “down-ticket damage” [AJC, 3/20/20]. Perdue also publicly refuses to defend Loeffler in a Fox Business interview as the AJC reveals his own pandemic trades [AJC, 3/20/20].
The New York Times editorial board calls for the Senate to launch a full ethics investigation “and, if warranted…criminal prosecution” against Loeffler, and the Savannah Morning News decries her “potential illicit profiteering” and says the “Justice Department and…Securities and Exchange Commission should get involved.”
The SEC issues “a sharp warning” against using “nonpublic information” to trade on the coronavirus outbreak while refusing to comment on whether Loeffler and Sprecher are under investigation [CNBC, 3/23/20] — the same day that Mitch McConnell’s super PAC, which had previously spent to boost Loeffler, leaves Georgia off its list of ad buys [POLITICO, 3/23/20].
Even more members of Loeffler’s own party distance themselves from her, with one prominent conservative calling the accusations against her “very relevant.” Outside Republican groups that previously backed Loeffler, meanwhile, “are now turning their attention elsewhere at a pivotal moment in her campaign” [McClatchy, 3/27/20].
A new report reveals the DOJ and the SEC have launched a probe into lawmakers’ stock transactions during the coronavirus outbreak, coming nearly a week after the SEC issued a warning against insider trading during the pandemic and refused to state whether Loeffler and her husband were under investigation [CNN, 3/29/20].
New disclosures reveal even more stock sell-offs by Loeffler and her husband while she continued to downplay the threat of coronavirus — and show investments made “in a company that makes COVID-19 protective garments” [AJC, 4/1/20].
Loeffler claims she “can’t say anything that [she] would have done differently” about her stock trades [Washington Post, 4/6/20] — only days before she completely reverses course and remakes her portfolio in an attempt at damage control [WSJ, 4/8/20].
After originally claiming she wouldn’t have done anything differently, Loeffler tries to distract from her scandal by shifting her assets into mutual funds, but still refuses to place them into a blind trust or call for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation [WSJ, 4/8/20].
The fallout from Loeffler’s scandal intensifies as a top pro-Trump super PAC endorses her opponent Congressman Doug Collins after its chairman slams “Loeffler’s corruption” in an Augusta Chronicle op-ed — joining Congressman Drew Ferguson in “breaking ranks” to support Collins over a damaged Loeffler [AJC, 4/13/20].
Loeffler continues her pattern of blaming anything and everything but herself for her growing scandal by repeatedly blaming “socialism” and financial transparency laws — among other things — for her stock trades that have drawn bipartisan criticism [AJC, 3/3/20].
As his own stock trading scandal continues to worsen, Perdue copies Loeffler’s failed damage control stunt and sells off his individual stocks — even while Perdue, like Loeffler, still keeps millions in shares despite his pledge [AJC, 5/8/20].
Loeffler refuses to answer whether the FBI has been in contact with her in conjunction with their investigation into senators’ possible insider trading after news broke that the FBI served a warrant to Senator Richard Burr and seized his cellphone over his own coronavirus stock trades. [AJC, 5/14/20].
After Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff pledged to champion legislation mandating that all federal officeholders follow “The Isakson Standard” of placing their assets in a blind trust [11Alive, 7/13/20], Perdue still refuses to follow the example of his fellow Georgia Republican who called blind trusts “the best way to comply…with the ethics disclosures” [AJC, 1/25/17].