Justice closes stock trading probe on three senators, Burr case still open

An investigation into Sen. Richard Burr will reportedly continue

Last Updated:
May 27, 2020 - 9:28am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Justice Department is closing investigations into three senators in connection with stock trade made during the start of the coronavirus spread, though the agency's probe into a fourth senator, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, will continue.

Prosecutors lateTuesday notified defense attorneys for Georgia Republican Kelly Loeffler, Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe and California Democrat Dianne Feinstein of the closure.

Concerns about the trades focused on whether they had access to early information about the virus, considering their position, that others might not have had. 

All of the senators have denied any wrongdoing.

Burr, who announced that he would relinquish his position as Senate Intelligence Committee chairman until the investigation concludes, has indicated that his trades were based on public information, according to the Wall Street Journal. Burr's phone was seized by the FBI the day before he stepped down.

According to The Hill, Inhofe and Feinstein have said that they did not go to a January 24 coronavirus-related briefing that is at the center of the focus. 

"As I’ve said all along, I wasn’t even at the briefing and do not make my own stock trades,” Inhofe said Tuesday, according to The Oklahoman. “I did nothing wrong, and I’m pleased the Justice Department has exonerated me.”

He said earlier that in December 2018, shortly after becoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he instructed his financial adviser to move him out of all stocks and into mutual funds to avoid any appearance of controversy. 

A Loeffler spokesperson said according to the Wall Street Journal: “Today’s clear exoneration by the Department of Justice affirms what Senator Loeffler has said all along – she did nothing wrong.”

Loeffler has said her trades were conducted by financial advisors but also said she and her husband will invest going forward. 

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