NEW: McConnell Doesn’t “Have Any Advice” for Loeffler As Senate Ethics Committee Has “Clear Mandate” to Investigate

April 7, 2020

With new Loeffler and Perdue disclosures revealing further stock sell-offs and key purchases during coronavirus outbreak, McConnell refuses to advise senators accused of wrongdoing as complaints filed with Ethics Committee

ATLANTA — Unelected “political mega-donor” Senator Kelly Loeffler continues to find herself in hot water as a new report reveals that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “isn’t speaking to his members” about potential ethics violations and doesn’t “have any advice” for them while a former Senate Ethics Committee aide says the committee has “a clear mandate” to look in tp Loeffler and other Senators under scrutiny for coronavirus stock trading.

Loeffler has continued to face fallout amid revelations that she and her husband sold off millions in stock before the market tanked — including shares in a travel booking firm — while investing in “a company that makes COVID-19 protective garments.” Loeffler still has not clearly answered questions about “how her portfolio is managed and who does that work” as she also refuses to follow Senator Richard Burr’s example and call for her own Senate Ethics Committee investigation.

Her fellow Georgia Republican Senator David Perdue, meanwhile, is also facing trouble as recent reporting revealed he also sold off shares in the market and purchased stock in the same medical supplies-producing company as Loeffler’s husband — the day of a private Senate briefing on the coronavirus outbreak.

Read the latest on Republican senators’ stock trading scandal:

McClatchy: Watchdogs struggle to keep spotlight on congressional ethics amid coronavirus crisis

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he isn’t speaking to his members about how to steer clear of possible ethics violations during the coronavirus crisis, even as two Senate Republicans are facing accusations of using information from a closed briefing about the looming global pandemic to inform stock sales.
  • “I don’t have any advice about that,” the Kentucky Republican recently told McClatchy in an interview. “There’s a process for handling complaints and if there are complaints against members, and there are frequently — many of them bogus, some of them not — they go to the Senate Ethics Committee.”
  • “It’s more important than ever to be keeping a close eye on money in politics and government ethics,” said Jordan Libowitz, spokesman for another watchdog group, Citizens Responsible for Ethics in Washington. “Some of the shadiest things happen when everyone’s attention is pulled somewhere else.”
  • While CREW has already filed formal complaints against Burr and Loeffler with the Senate Ethics Committee, Libowtz said the organization was “continuing to research” whether the group needs to amend these complaints to include any new information.
  • CREW also is actively researching whether other members of Congress should be scrutinized for potential ethical misconduct relating to stock sales and the coronavirus, Libowitz said.
  • A former longtime Senate aide close to the Senate Ethics Committee process, who is a Democrat and requested anonymity, told McClatchy that even if it were not for the CREW complaints against Burr and Loeffler, she’d be surprised if the panel wasn’t already inclined to look into the allegations.
  • “I think there is a clear mandate here in this case because I think the facts are pretty strong,” she said. “Looking at these types of allegations over the decades against federal officials, this would be the kind of thing that should motivate a call for investigation. There is compelling public interest for (senators) to look at it.”


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