Senate ethics panel drops inquiry into Loeffler stock trades

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., listens during a virtual Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing, Tuesday, May 12, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington.

ATLANTA — The Justice Department has dropped an investigation of stock transactions U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and two Senate colleagues made following a closed-door briefing in January on the looming coronavirus pandemic, Loeffler’s office confirmed Tuesday.

Loeffler, a wealthy Atlanta businesswoman, and Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., turned over documents to investigators after political opponents and media reports called attention to the buying and selling of millions of dollars in stocks by the three senators shortly after the briefing.

A fourth senator, Republican Richard Burr of North Carolina, remains under investigation, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Loeffler has said the stock transactions were made by a third-party advisor without her input.

Last month, she liquidated her holdings in individual stocks and converted those assets into broader exchange-traded funds and mutual funds. At the time, she said she was doing so not because of any wrongdoing but to end the distraction over false allegations.

“Today’s clear exoneration by the Department of Justice affirms what Senator Loeffler has said all along – she did nothing wrong,” Loeffler campaign spokesman Stephen Lawson said Tuesday. “This was a politically motivated attack.”

Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Loeffler to the Senate last December to succeed retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson on an interim basis. To finish out Isakson’s six-year term, she must win in November in a crowded “free-for-all” contest featuring 21 candidates, including both Republicans and Democrats.

The field of hopefuls includes U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, and – on the Democratic side – the Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church; Matt Lieberman, son of 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman of Connecticut; and former U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver of Augusta.

Support Local Journalism

Now, more than ever, residents need trustworthy reporting—but good journalism isn’t free. Please support us by purchasing a digital subscription. Your subscription will allow you unlimited access to important local news stories. Our mission is to keep our community informed and we appreciate your support.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.