A Timeline of Kelly Loeffler’s Spiraling Stock Sell-Off Scandal

March 27, 2020

Loeffler and her husband have faced calls for investigation and panic from fellow Republicans after they were caught dumping stocks following a private all-Senate briefing but publicly downplaying the coronavirus threat

ATLANTA — Unelected “political mega-donor” Senator Kelly Loeffler has spent the past week entangled in a stock sell-off scandal after she and her husband were caught dumping millions of dollars worth of stocks following a private Senate briefing on coronavirus but publicly downplaying the threat — a story that has only escalated since that initial reporting.

Today, the Democratic Party of Georgia is breaking down the timeline in Loeffler’s stock sell-off scandal — starting with the private Senate briefing after which she and her husband began dumping millions in shares:

January 24th: Loeffler’s Senate HELP Committee hosts a private all-Senate briefing on the coronavirus threat — and Loeffler begins selling off stocks the very same day.

February 26th: Loeffler’s husband and New York Stock Exchange Chairman Jeffrey Sprecher sells off $3.5 million worth of stock in their company ICE, just over 30 days after Loeffler’s private Senate briefing — the amount of notice ICE requires executives to give before buying or selling shares.

March 10th: Loeffler claims “the economy is strong” and “jobs are growing” even after she and her husband dumped millions worth of stocks.

March 11th: Loeffler and Sprecher sell off another $15.3 million worth of ICE shares — just one day after her claim that “the economy is strong.”

March 20th: As the Daily Beast breaks the news of Loeffler’s stock sell-off scandal, one Republican candidate openly calls for her resignation and calls her “unfit to represent Georgia” as Republican House Speaker David Ralston expresses worries about “down-ticket damage.”

March 21st: The day after a scathing New York Times editorial calling for the Senate to launch a full ethics investigation “and, if warranted…criminal prosecution” against Loeffler, the Savannah Morning News decries her “potential illicit profiteering” and says the “Justice Department and…Securities and Exchange Commission should get involved.”

March 23rd: The SEC issues “a sharp warning” against using “nonpublic information” to trade on the coronavirus outbreak while refusing to comment on whether Loeffler and Sprecher are under investigation — the same day that Mitch McConnell’s super PAC, which had previously spent to boost Loeffler, leaves Georgia off its list of ad buys.

March 27th: Even more members of Loeffler’s own party distance themselves from her, with one prominent conservative calling the accusations against her “very relevant.” Outside Republican groups that previously backed Loeffler, meanwhile, “are now turning their attention elsewhere at a pivotal moment in her campaign.”

As Loeffler leaves more questions unanswered about her stock dumping record and refuses to follow Senator Richard Burr’s example and call for a Senate Ethics Committee investigation, the Democratic Party of Georgia will continue to keep track of critical new developments as her scandal continues to spiral.

Read the latest coverage about Loeffler’s stock sell-off scandal:

McClatchy: Georgia senator’s stock sales could cause trouble for Republicans in special election

  • The revelation last week that Loeffler sold more than $1 million in stocks after she attended a Jan. 24 congressional briefing on the coronavirus has given Collins an unexpected opening.
  • If the contest between the two Republican lawmakers becomes more competitive, it would mean a bigger headache for the GOP establishment that has worked hard to give Loeffler the edge after failing to push Collins out of the race.
  • Republicans in Washington fear that an ugly fight between Loeffler and Collins could cause the party to lose the Senate seat in a special election in November, in which Republicans and Democrats will compete against each other on a single ballot.
  • And should it come down to a Republican and a Democrat, a run-off election would pose a significant risk for the GOP given that Democratic groups see Georgia as a top target this election year and would pour extensive resources into winning there.
  • American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp told McClatchy this week that the accusations against Loeffler are “very relevant” and something that “voters will seriously have to wrestle with” in the months ahead.
  • “She has to make her case that what she did was above board,” Schlapp said. “It’s not just whether or not it was legal, it was whether or not it was the right thing to do.”
  • Government watchdogs are calling for an investigation and questioning whether Loeffler used nonpublic information about the coronavirus to inform her financial decisions in the days before the public was aware of the severity of the crisis, which grew into a pandemic. 
  • Those groups argue that Loeffler does not have her stocks in a blind trust and has not offered proof that she was unaware of the sale.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission, while not mentioning members of Congress, warned “corporate insiders” and “other professionals” on Monday about trading on nonpublic information.
  • The situation “looks really bad” for Loeffler, said University of West Georgia political science chair Chapman Rackaway. At the same time, he said, Georgia voters may not be paying attention right now in the midst of a global health crisis.
  • As Loeffler’s detractors amp up their efforts, supporters who have run ads on her behalf in the past are now turning their attention elsewhere at a pivotal moment in her campaign.
  • The Senate Leadership Fund…has no current plans to renew anti-Collins, pro-Loeffler spending on advertisements.
  • The Club for Growth, which advocates for fiscal conservatism, also signaled this week that it could hold off on making further investments in the Georgia race.


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