NYT: Senate Must Begin Ethics Investigation Against Loeffler

March 21, 2020

Facing criticism from fellow Republicans and political leaders across the aisle, NYT editorial calls out Loeffler for “morally reprehensible” behavior

ATLANTA — In a stunning new editorial, the New York Times is calling for the Senate to launch a full ethics investigation “and, if warranted…criminal prosecution” for unelected “political-mega donor” Senator Kelly Loeffler as a result of her ongoing scandal in which she dumped up to millions of dollars worth of stocks after a private all-Senate briefing.

The NYT joins a growing chorus of members of both parties who have criticized Loeffler after bombshell reports revealed the unelected senator sold up to $3.1 million worth of stocks in the early days of the ongoing outbreak while “talking down the threat of the coronavirus.” Loeffler even bought as much as $250,000 worth of stock in a telework company which later increased in value “as a result of coronavirus-induced market turmoil.”

The NYT’s editorial board accuses Loeffler and her fellow Senator Richard Burr of having “prioritized their stock portfolios, in a rank betrayal of the public trust” as she “misled an already anxious and confused public.” The editorial goes on to categorize her alleged behavior as “possibly in violation of the law” in addition to being “morally reprehensible.”

Read the NYT’s blistering editorial against Loeffler’s stock sell-off scandal:

NYT: Did Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler Profit From the Pandemic?

  • Richard Burr, Republican of North Carolina, and Kelly Loeffler, Republican of Georgia, are in the hot seat this week, facing questions about whether they misused their positions to shield their personal finances from the economic fallout of the pandemic, even as they misled the public about the severity of the crisis.
  • These briefings were occurring when much of the public still had a poor grasp of the virus, in part because President Trump and many Republican officials were still publicly playing down the threat.
  • Instead of raising their voices to prepare Americans for what was to come, Mr. Burr and Ms. Loeffler prioritized their stock portfolios, in a rank betrayal of the public trust — and possibly in violation of the law.
  • Of Ms. Loeffler’s 29 transactions, 27 were sales. One of her two purchases was of a technology company that provides teleworking software. That stock has appreciated in recent weeks, as so many companies have ordered employees to work from home.
  • Even as she was shedding shares, Ms. Loeffler was talking down the threat of the coronavirus. 
  • “Democrats have dangerously and intentionally misled the American people on Coronavirus readiness,” she tweeted on Feb. 28, assuring the public that the president and his team “are doing a great job working to keep Americans healthy & safe.”
  • “Concerned about the #coronavirus?” she tweeted on March 10. “Remember this: The consumer is strong, the economy is strong & jobs are growing, which puts us in the best economic position to tackle #COVID19 & keep Americans safe.”
  • There is pressure for Ms. Loeffler to step down as well, and the recent stock dealings of other senators are now being dissected — as well they should be.
  • The Senate should initiate an ethics investigation of all accusations, and, if warranted, refer relevant findings for criminal prosecution.
  • That said, explicit criminality aside, the real scandal here is the way in which these public servants misled an already anxious and confused public. In times of crisis, the American people need leaders who will rise to the occasion, not sink to their own mercenary interests.


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