DOJ Drops Insider Trading Investigation of 3 Senators

By Isabel van Brugen

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dropped investigations into stock trades made by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) in the early weeks of the CCP virus pandemic, according to reports.

Feinstein, Loeffler, and Inhofe, who were heavily scrutinized for selling stocks around the time they were receiving closed-door briefings on the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus in January, were notified on May 26 that they are no longer under investigation by the DOJ, The Wall Street Journal first reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

Politico later reported that the offices of Feinstein, Loeffler, and Inhofe confirmed that the DOJ had dropped its investigation into their stock trades.

Under the 2012 Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act, lawmakers and their aides are prohibited using “non-public information” obtained through their official duties to make a private profit, including insider trading.

Between Jan. 31 and Feb. 18, Feinstein, 86, sold between $1.5 million and $6 million in stock from a California biotech company called Allogene Therapeutics, according to disclosure forms.

Loeffler disclosed sales of between $1.3 million and $3.1 million in early January in stocks including Exxon Mobil Corporation, a worldwide oil company, and Resideo Technologies, a company that makes smart home products. She also purchased up to $250,000 in stocks in Citrix, a company that sells software helping people working from home, according to disclosure forms.

According to Senate records, Inhofe sold between $230,006 and $500,000 in stocks, including those from PayPal and Brookfield Asset Management, a real estate company.

The DOJ, however, is continuing its investigation into the activities of Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who has temporarily stepped down as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee amid the probe, according to the WSJ.

Burr and his wife sold between $628,000 and $1.7 million of his stocks in more than 30 transactions on Feb. 13, according to Senate financial disclosures. A week later, the stock market began to decline.

The biggest sales from Burr included stocks from Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, a company that has lost significant value amid the pandemic, and shares of Extended Stay America, a hospitality chain that has also seen a decrease in value amid the spread of the CCP virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus.

Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) speaks
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) speaks during a committee hearing at the Hart Senate Building in Washington on Feb. 9, 2016. (Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images)

Earlier this month, Burr was served a search warrant by the FBI, who showed up at his Washington-area home and seized his cellphone as part of the ongoing investigation.

Burr and the three senators have all denied any wrongdoing.

A spokesman for Loeffler said in a statement on Tuesday that the exoneration by the DOJ affirms that “she did nothing wrong.”

“This was a politically motivated attack shamelessly promoted by the fake news media and her political opponent,” spokesman Stephen Lawson said.

Burr meanwhile has maintained that he relied “solely on public news reports,” to make the transactions. He said he used CNBC’s reports coming out of Asia to make the decisions.

The senator has been “actively cooperating” with investigators, according to a statement earlier this month from a spokeswoman for Burr’s attorney, Alice Fisher.

The Epoch Times has contacted the DOJ and the offices for Feinstein and Inhofe for comment.

Zachary Stieber and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times