UPDATE: AOC Calls for Republican Sens. Loeffler and Burr to Resign Amid Stock Sell-Off


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By Cristy Marrero, Kimberly Lawson

March 20, 2020

Update: Sen. Burr has made a public statement regarding the accusations via Twitter.

“I relied solely on public news reports to guide my decision regarding the sale of stocks on February 13,” he stated. “I spoke this morning with the chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and asked him to open a complete review of the matter with full transparency”, he added.

On Thursday evening, allegations of “insider trading” were levied against two Republican lawmakers who are up for re-election this year.

According to media reports, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr and Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler—both of whom were privy to private information that may have predicted the economic downfall spurred by the novel coronavirus—sold off a significant portion of their stocks prior to the markets crashing.

Burr, who is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, first garnered criticism early Thursday after NPR released a recording dated Feb. 13 where the North Carolina lawmaker could be heard warning business leaders at a VIP social club luncheon about the imminent threat of coronavirus.

“There’s one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history … It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic,” Burr reportedly told attendees of the luncheon held at the Capitol Hill Club.

Two weeks later, Burr sold a large portion of his stocks totaling between $628,000 and $1.72 million, according to ProPublica. The accounts are held under his name, his wife’s and some jointly.

Around the same time, Burr was reportedly receiving daily briefings on coronavirus due to his position on the intelligence committee, according to Reuters.

Related: This Senator Promised the Government Was Ready for Coronavirus. Then He Sold Off Up to $1.6 Million in Stocks

Later Thursday evening, Loeffler became the second senator to be called out for getting rid of her holdings as the market was about to go bad, according to the Daily Beast. Loeffler, who’s married to the chairman and CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, sold millions of dollars worth of stock holdings before the market tanked.

The Daily Beast reports that Loeffler initiated her sell-off the same day the Senate Health Committee held a private session—where National Institutes of Health head Anthony Fauci was present— to fill them in on the severity of the situation with the expected arrival of COVID-19 to the U.S. The meeting took place on Jan. 24, a month before Burr decided to sell his stocks.

Both Burr and Loeffler have been public about their support of the Trump’s administration management of this public health crisis.

Thursday’s disclosures prompted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) of New York to demand the resignations of both Sens. Burr and Loeffler via Twitter.

Seemingly agreeing with Ocasio-Cortez, Fox News Tonight’s Tucker Carlson also called for Burr’s resignation.

“There is no greater moral crime than betraying your country in a time of crisis,” Carlson said Thursday evening. “And that appears to be what happened.”


CATEGORIES: Coronavirus | Economy | POLITICS


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