I received an email in response to the previous post from my friend Michael Mulford, a Republican, tonight. If you are wondering how I could possibly have a friend who is a Republican, the answer is that my Mother was a Republican, “God bless her heart”, as we say here down South. When we would talk politics my father would say, “Argue, argue, argue, that’s all you two do.” Mother responded with, “We’re not arguing, Ronald. We are having a heated discussion!”
Sat, Mar 21 at 9:22 PM
“Actually, four Senators are known to have engaged in this behavior, not just these two. One of them has called for an ethics investigation into their actions. One of the four is a Democrat.
I’ve heard that members of Congress are exempt from the insider trading legislation (I don’t know if that is true) and that the holdings are in blind trusts. But I’ve also heard that the husbands do have some measure of control over those trusts.
By any account, this smells and ought to be thoroughly investigated. And if the GOP wants to hold the GA Senate seat, they would do well to nominate someone else.”
Thought I would share the answer with you. Please read the entire article as this is only an excerpt taken from the article:
Update: Several readers have asked about the other senators who sold stock during the same period, including Dianne Feinstein (a California Democrat), James Inhofe (an Oklahoma Republican) and Ron Johnson (a Wisconsin Republican). But none of their trades look particularly suspicious.
Feinstein has said that she did not attend the Jan. 24 briefing; her stock was in a blind trust, which means she didn’t make the decision to sell; and the transaction lost her money, because the trust was selling shares of a biotechnology stock, the value of which has since risen. Inhofe’s transactions were part of a systematic selling of stocks that he started after he became chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Johnson sold stock in his family’s plastic business, as part of a process that has been occurring for months; his sale also occurred well after stock market began falling.
Jeff Blehar of National Review has a helpful summary on Twitter, in which he argues Burr’s transactions are the worst.
Loeffler, who is extremely wealthy and married to the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, frequently sells stock and has said “multiple third-party advisors” — not her or her husband — made the decision to sell shares in January and in February.
(I must interject here to print something the Mulfish must have missed in the previous post:
“Ms. Loeffler, who also sits on the Health Committee, is in a similarly sticky situation. On the very day of the committee’s coronavirus briefing, she began her own stock sell-off, as originally reported by The Daily Beast. Over the next three weeks, she shed between $1,275,000 and $3.1 million worth of stock, much of it jointly owned with her husband, who is the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. Of Ms. Loeffler’s 29 transactions, 27 were sales. One of her two purchases was of a technology company that provides teleworking software. That stock has appreciated in recent weeks, as so many companies have ordered employees to work from home.”
Only a Republican would believe those trading stocks for the Loeffler’s “just happened” to make trades of this nature without being tipped off. If you do believe the woman then please get in touch with me IMMEDIATELY because I have a great deal for you on some swamp land in Florida.)
The notion that Feinstein or Johnson did something unethical, Belhar wrote, is “flat wrong.” Don Moynihan of Georgetown University agrees.
Burr’s response on Friday morning was not strong. He said that he relied on only “public news reports” about the crisis, like CNBC’s reporting from Asia, a claim that’s impossible to verify. He also said he had asked the Senate Ethics Committee to open “a complete review.”
For more …
Tucker Carlson, Fox News:
[Burr] had inside information about what could happen to our country, which is now happening, but he didn’t warn the public. He didn’t give a prime-time address. He didn’t go on television to sound the alarm. He didn’t even disavow an op-ed he’d written just 10 days before claiming America was ‘better prepared than ever’ for coronavirus. He didn’t do any of those things. Instead, what did he do? He dumped his shares in hotel stocks so he wouldn’t lose money, and then he stayed silent. Now maybe there’s an honest explanation for what he did. If there is, he should share it with the rest of us immediately. Otherwise, he must resign from the Senate …
Molly Knight: “Richard Burr should not hold government office by Monday. He needs to resign today.”
David French, The Dispatch: “The potential insider trading is dreadful and possibly criminal, but what could elevate this to a historic scandal is the idea that senators may have known enough to be alarmed for themselves yet still projected rosy scenarios to the public AND failed to make sure we were ready.”
David Frum of The Atlantic wants to know who else may have sold stock: “What did the Trump family sell, and when did they sell it?”
The Times editorial board argued in December that “members of Congress should not be allowed to buy and sell stocks, or to serve on corporate boards.”
In 2012, Robert Reich notes, Burr was one of only a small number of members to vote against a law that barred them for trading on inside information.