Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., arrives for a re-enactment of her swearing-in, Monday Jan. 6, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP
Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Georgia Sen. Loeffler confirms feds cleared her of stock trading violations

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s office has confirmed that the U.S. Department of Justice has closed an investigation into recent stock trades made on her behalf.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that Loeffler is among the senators who are no longer under scrutiny. The others are Sens. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Dianne Feinstein of California.

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina remains under investigation, according to that report.

Loeffler’s portfolio came under scrutiny when a large number of stocks that she or her husband owned were sold off shortly after she attended a senators-only briefing on the coronavirus and during the time that the virus began to spread across the country.

She said that the Jan. 24 meeting included no private information and all stock trading on her behalf is handled by financial advisers who act independently and without her input. 

Loeffler denied that any trading on her behalf had broken laws or U.S. Senate rules. A campaign spokesman said Tuesday that the investigation has shown that the criticism was fueled by politics.

“Today’s clear exoneration by the Department of Justice affirms what Senator Loeffler has said all along– she did nothing wrong,” spokesman Stephen Lawson said. “This was a politically-motivated attack shamelessly promoted by the fake news media and her political opponents. Senator Loeffler will continue to focus her full attention on delivering results for Georgians.”

A spokesman for the Department of Justice declined to comment on the investigation.

Loeffler initially refused to admit she was under investigation. Earlier this month, she said  she had turned over documents to federal investigators. But she would not say if she had volunteered or was asked to supply information or if she had been questioned. 

Loeffler and her husband, Jeff Sprecher, have already taken steps to address the controversy about stock trading on their behalf during the COVID-19 pandemic. They directed their consultants to sell off stocks they own in individual companies and invest the money in exchange-traded and mutual funds. The only company’s shares they still own are Intercontinental Exchange, the conglomerate that Sprecher founded and now leads.  Loeffler worked for the company until she was appointed to the U.S. Senate.

Although the threat of an investigation seems to be over, Loeffler should still expect to face questions about her portfolio on the campaign trail, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Doug Collins said. Collins is challenging Loeffler for her Senate seat in November’s special election.

"Her expensive lawyers might keep her from going to prison,” Collins spokesman Dan McLagan said, “but she's not going back to the U.S. Senate because we all know what she did.”

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