Months after a handful of U.S. senators first faced scrutiny over allegations of insider trading related to an early coronavirus briefing, the Senate Ethics Committee confirmed it has dropped an investigation against one of the lawmakers involved.
According to the Washington Examiner, the panel has found no evidence to support the accusations against Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and has suspended its inquiry.
The senator, who was appointed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in 2019 to replace retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson, has seen the allegations against her used by rival Republican Rep. Doug Collins, who is challenging Loeffler for the seat in a special election in November.
“The Committee has dismissed the matter”
Loeffler was informed of the decision to drop the investigation in a letter delivered on Tuesday by the committee’s chief counsel and staff director, Politico reported.
Deborah Sue Mayer explained in the letter that the committee had examined all relevant records and stock transactions related to Loeffler and her husband, New York Stock Exchange Chairman Jeffrey Sprecher.
“Based on all the information before it, the Committee did not find evidence that your actions violated federal law, Senate Rules or standards of conduct,” the letter said, according to Politico. “Accordingly, consistent with its precedent, the Committee has dismissed the matter.”
The committee first began its inquiry in March when a pair of left-leaning watchdog groups — Common Cause and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington — brought the allegations forward following media reports.
“The truth is prevailing”
A spokesperson for Loeffler released a statement asserting that the Senate panel “has come to the exact same conclusion as the U.S. Department of Justice” that the senator has been cleared of any wrongdoing.
“Despite the obvious attempts by the media, political opportunists and liberal groups like CREW and Common Cause to distort reality, facts still matter and the truth is prevailing,” the spokesperson continued.
Two of the three other senators facing similar scrutiny have also been essentially cleared. The Justice Department announced in May that it had ended investigations into questionable stock sales by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK).
The only remaining member potentially facing trouble in the matter is Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), the first to face such allegations over dozens of transactions involving him and his brother-in-law in February. He has tentatively stepped down from his role as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee as multiple inquiries remain underway, NPR notes.
Allegations against Loeffler came at an inopportune time as she faces re-election, but her campaign still has several months to move past this issue on the strength of an apparent exoneration on all counts.