The Department of Justice has closed insider trading investigations into three of four United States senators who made major stock trades in the period of time between the coronavirus outbreak spreading through Wuhan, China, and the American economy tanking.
According to The Wall Street Journal, federal prosecutors informed Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), James Inhofe (R-OK) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) that the investigation into their financial trades would be closing.
Loeffler, who is running for Senate against Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA), praised the development as a “clear exoneration,” calling the criticism of her stock activities a “politically-motivated attack promoted by the fake news media and my political opponents.”
Today’s clear exoneration affirms what I’ve said all along: I did nothing wrong.
— Kelly Loeffler (@KLoeffler) May 26, 2020
Inhofe made a statement to The Oklahoman on Tuesday afternoon indicating that he had been cleared, a conclusion to the investigation that he long anticipated.
“As I’ve said all along, I wasn’t even at the briefing and do not make my own stock trades,” Inhofe told the news agency. “I did nothing wrong, and I’m pleased the Justice Department has exonerated me.”
The Journal reports that a spokesperson for Senator Feinstein did not have an “immediate comment.” When the first reports on the stock trading emerged, Feinstein maintained that she keeps her assets in a blind trust and doesn’t have any input in her husband’s financial decisions, which are also reported to the Senate under U.S. law.
However, officials “familiar with the matter” told The Journal that the investigation into Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, will continue.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, Burr stepped down as chairman of the intelligence committee after his phone was taken by federal agents who served him with a warrant. He told reporters that he was stepping down as a temporary measure, so as to not distract from the “hard work of the committee.”
Information about Burr’s stock activities was unearthed in late March by ProPublica, which reported that the senator and his wife “sold off a significant percentage of his stocks” over the course of 33 transactions in a single day. The trades amounted to between $628,000 and $1.72 million, reports the news agency.
Burr has denied wrongdoing, and maintains that his financial decisions were based on publicly available information. The Journal reports that Burr’s actions could be protected under the Constitution, citing a former federal prosecutor who specializes in public corruption cases.
“Insider-trading cases are often based on the use of inside information obtained through corporate channels,” Justin Shur, the prosecutor, told The Journal. “The allegations here, however, are based on the use of information obtained through legislative channels.”
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