Insider Trading Investigations Closed for Sens. Feinstein, Loeffler, Inhofe, but One Remains Open for Burr

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
May 27, 2020
The Justice Department has closed out its insider trading investigations into Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), and James Inhofe (R-Okla.), but the case remains open for Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.), according to the Wall Street Journal.

The FBI had been investigating the senators on suspicions that they used their positions as lawmakers to profit from nonpublic information about the coronavirus, as all had sold assets that would later be damaged by the pandemic's economic chaos shortly after attending a briefing. At the time, the White House was downplaying the threat of the virus.

The Journal said that Feinstein, Loeffler and Inhofe claimed their investment advisers made the trades without telling them, and they only learned of them after the fact. Burr, however, was more directly involved with his trades, alhough he said he was relying on news reports from Asia rather than the information he received at the briefing. However, the FBI says it has evidence that the senator was talking to several individuals about the virus whose knowledge was not public at the time.

Despite this evidence, the Journal said it would be difficult to prosecute the senator, as his actions could theoretically be construed as protected by the constitution's speech and debate clause, which shields lawmakers from arrest for actions taken in the course of their legislative duties.

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