Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue keep self-righteously telling voters that they were exonerated of insider trading after their stock trades suspiciously timed to make the coronavirus pandemic profitable for them. What exactly does it mean to say that the Senate Ethics Committee cleared them, though?
Not much, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation. Between 2007 and 2019, public records show not a single disciplinary sanction coming out of the committee, despite 1,189 complaints of alleged violations. Just six cases led to letters of admonition. Most complaints didn’t even get a staff investigation.
“A senator saying he or she has been cleared by the Senate Ethics Committee should be taken with a grain of salt,” said Meredith McGehee, executive director of the watchdog group Issue One, told the newspaper. “The Senate Ethics Committee manages to find ethics violations about as often as an NBA referee manages to call a traveling or palming violation.”
Perdue followed an early coronavirus briefing by buying stocks in personal protective equipment companies, while Loeffler responded to being briefed by selling off a lot of stocks, a decision that looked interesting when the market crashed in the early days of the pandemic. Perdue also recently made news as the senator who’s carried out the most stock trades in recent years—2,596 of them—including on companies he oversees in his Senate work.
Loeffler and Perdue are also very proud of having avoided charges from the Donald Trump-William Barr Justice Department.
Maybe Georgia could do better than “not indicted on insider trading”?
Posted with permission from Daily Kos.