Before joining the Senate, Loeffler worked for Intercontinental Exchange, the same company run by her husband, Jeff Sprecher. Collins and other rivals have accused her of conflicts of interest and said transactions during the COVID-19 pandemic appeared to have been informed by information obtained through her role as a senator.
Financial disclosures showed that Loeffler or her husband’s consultants sold off between $1.3 million and $3.1 million in stocks from Jan. 24 through Feb. 14, and made purchases of up to $250,000 each in Citrix, which provides work-from-home software, and Oracle, the computer technology firm.
The next month, the couple’s advisers sold an additional $845,557 in stock and made other purchases totaling $590,557. They obtained shares in chemical giant DuPont de Nemours, a major supplier of personal protective gear, while selling off shares in retail stores such as T.J. Maxx and Ross.
Common Cause and the other groups had asked the Ethics Committee to investigate Loeffler and a handful of other senators for possible violations of the STOCK Act, a law that prohibits senators from using inside information for financial gain.
In separate letters to the watchdog groups, Mayer said the committee reviewed stock transactions by Loeffler and Sprecher from early January and that it plans no further action after “carefully” evaluating the allegations.
Beth Rotman of Common Cause said the issue highlights the need for Congress to pass a law requiring its members to park their wealth in blind trusts while they are in office.
“Sen. Loeffler, together with other congresspeople, should have all of their stocks in blind trusts so that everyday Americans do not have to guess about whether their representatives are putting their own interests over the interests of their constituents,” said Rotman, the organization’s director of money in politics and ethics.
Loeffler initially refused to admit she was under investigation. In early May, she said she turned over documents to federal investigators. However, she would not say whether she had volunteered the information, was asked to supply it or if she had been questioned.
Loeffler and Sprecher have already taken steps to address the uproar about stock trading on their behalf. They directed their consultants to sell off stocks they own in individual companies and invest the money in exchange-traded and mutual funds. The couple still own millions of dollars in shares in Intercontinental Exchange, the Atlanta-based congolmerate that owns the New York Stock Exchange.