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Justice Department Ends Probe Into Three Senators For Coronavirus-Related Insider Trading, Burr Still Under The Radar

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Justice Department Ends Probe Into Three Senators For Coronavirus-Related Insider Trading, Burr Still Under The Radar

The United States Department of Justice has ended its investigation into three senators for insider trading accusations related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal report Tuesday.

What Happened

Republican senators Richard Burr, Kelly Loeffler and James Inhofe, along with Democrat Dianne Feinstein, were all reported to have sold off a significant chunk of their stock holdings ahead of the coronavirus-related market selloffs, allegedly after they received privileged information related to the pandemic.

The defense attorneys for Loeffler, Inhofe, and Feinstein were informed by the prosecutors on Tuesday that the probe into the insider trading allegations against them had ended, people familiar with the matter told the Journal.

Investigations into Senator Burr, who was the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time, is continuing, the Journal has learned.

The North Carolina senator was involved in making more direct trades, while the trades for others were executed by third-party agents.

Burr had earlier suggested that he acted based on the information coming out of Asia, where the pandemic hit first, rather than the privileged briefings he received as the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman.

Why It Matters

The Justice Department dropping the probe comes at a specially critical time for Loeffler, who is running for reelection as a Georgia senator later this year.

The spouse of the Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE) Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Sprecher is looking to complete the term she took over from retiring senator Johnny Isakson earlier this year.

"Today's clear exoneration by the Department of Justice affirms what Senator Loeffler has said all along—she did nothing wrong," a spokesperson for the former Bakkt CEO told the Journal.

 

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