Multiple Senators Under Fire for Selling Off Millions in Stocks Just Before Market Crash

Friday, March 20, 2020
By Paul Martin

By Jack Davis
WesternJournal.com
March 20, 2020

Four U.S. senators sold millions of dollars worth of stocks shortly before Wall Street began a major selloff caused by fears of the economic impact of the coronavirus.

According to Senate disclosure forms, Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, made 33 stock transactions on Feb. 13.

The forms do not disclose the exact value of transactions but provide a range. The sales collectively netted Burr between $628,000 and $1.72 million.

Two weeks later, Burr was recorded making dire predictions about the impact of the coronavirus, according to NPR.

“There’s one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history,” the senator said. “It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.”

Burr also told the group he met with that the use of the military would be possible and that limits on travel were likely, both of which were not being publicly commented about at the time.

The website ProPublica, which first reported the stock sales, was told by Burr’s office that the senator did nothing wrong.

“Senator Burr filed a financial disclosure form for personal transactions made several weeks before the U.S. and financial markets showed signs of volatility due to the growing coronavirus outbreak,” his representative said. “As the situation continues to evolve daily, he has been deeply concerned by the steep and sudden toll this pandemic is taking on our economy.”

The revelation sparked a rebuke from Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Burr pushed back on Twitter, saying his comments to North Carolina constituents were in sync with the overall message being shared with the public.

Burr was not the only senator making major market transactions. The disclosure report for Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California showed she made a stock sale valued at between $1 million and $6 million on Feb. 18.

“All of Senator Feinstein’s assets are in a blind trust,” Feinstein spokesman Tom Mentzer said, according to The New York Times. “She has no involvement in her husband’s financial decisions.”

In its reporting, the Times noted that two other Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, also made stock sales in the days before Wall Street began its plunge.

Beginning on Feb. 14, according to her disclosure report, Loeffler made 23 stock sales against two purchases, with the value of the sales between $926,000 and $2.24 million. Many stock sales came on the same day she received a briefing on the virus, The Times reported.

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