Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) arrives for the Republican policy luncheon at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. on March 19, 2020. (Photo: MandeL Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Demands for Resignations as More GOP Senators Accused of 'Smash and Grab' Stock Dumps Ahead of Coronavirus Crash

"They didn't mobilize to help families, or prep response. They dumped stock."

Jake Johnson

After news of Republican Sen. Richard Burr's stock sell-off ahead of the coronavirus-induced market crash prompted more digging into financial disclosure documents Thursday night, at least three additional GOP senators and one Democrat were found to have unloaded holdings just before the pandemic sent the U.S. economy into a tailspin.

Some of the sales that were highlighted on social media, such as those by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), appeared to be unconnected to the coronavirus crisis, analysts pointed out—while also urging that the transactions be closely examined.

But others looked far more suspicious on their face, sparking accusations of insider trading and demands for resignations. The Daily Beast reported late Thursday that Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), the newest member of the Senate, sold off millions of dollars worth of stock holdings following a private Jan. 24 Senate Health Committee meeting on the coronavirus threat.

Loeffler, according to The Daily Beast, "reported the first sale of stock jointly owned by her and her husband on Jan. 24, the very day that her committee, the Senate Health Committee, hosted a private, all-senators briefing from administration officials, including the CDC director and Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on the coronavirus."

Much like Burr, Loeffler publicly voiced optimism about the strength of the economy and the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus crisis even as she unloaded stock holdings.

"There need to be two open Senate seats by the morning," tweeted Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). "No excuses."

In a tweet Thursday night, Loeffler called any accusations of wrongdoing "ridiculous and baseless."

"I do not make investment decisions for my portfolio," Loeffler said. "Investment decisions are made by multiple third-party advisors without my or my husband's knowledge or involvement."

Loeffler and her husband carried out 29 stock transactions from Jan. 24 through mid-February, The Daily Beast reported, "all but two of which were sales."

"One of Loeffler's two purchases," The Daily Beast noted, "was stock worth between $100,000 and $250,000 in Citrix, a technology company that offers teleworking software and which has seen a small bump in its stock price since Loeffler bought in as a result of coronavirus-induced market turmoil."

"It is stomach-churning that the first thoughts these senators had to a dire and classified COVID briefing was how to profit off this crisis," tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. "They didn't mobilize to help families, or prep response. They dumped stock. Sen. Loeffler needs to resign, too."

After combing through financial filings, Cox Radio correspondent Jamie Dupree also flagged suspiciously timed sales by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.):

"It looks like Jim Inhofe also sold stock after receiving the briefing about the seriousness of coronavirus," said progressive commentator Erick Fernandez. "An endless, bottomless pit of corruption."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Omar Leads Charge Against Baby Formula Monopolies Amid US Shortage

Democrats urge the FTC to probe "any unfair or unsustainable practices, like deceptive marketing, price gouging, and stock buybacks, that may be weakening our nutritional formula supply."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Arbitrary, Racist, and Unfair': Judge Blocks Biden From Ending Title 42

"Only the coyotes profiteering off of people seeking protection have reason to celebrate this ill-reasoned ruling," said one migrant rights advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


'This Is a War' for Democratic Party's Future, Says Sanders of AIPAC's Super PAC

"They are doing everything they can to destroy the progressive movement in this country," said the senator.

Julia Conley ·


Ginni Thomas Pressed Arizona Lawmakers to Reverse Biden's 2020 Win: Report

"Clarence Thomas' continued service on the Supreme Court is a scandalous and appalling breach of judicial ethics," said one observer. "He is implementing the exact same theories that his wife used to try to steal the 2020 election for Trump."

Brett Wilkins ·


Millions More Kids Going Hungry Since GOP, Manchin Killed Expanded Child Tax Credit

"Even brief disruptions in access to food can have lasting consequences," wrote the authors of a new analysis of worsening hunger among U.S. families.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo