US Politics

DOJ Drops Insider Trading Investigation of 3 Senators

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.

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