A bipartisan scandal involving allegations of insider trading among lawmakers has reportedly led federal investigators to contact U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).
According to the New York Post, a spokesperson said the senator spoke to FBI agents about her husband’s sale of stocks prior to the coronavirus-related market downturn and handed over related documents to investigators.
“No follow-up actions”
In addition to three Republican senators, Feinstein is under suspicion of dumping stocks in late February as members of Congress learned of increasing coronavirus concerns.
Her husband reportedly sold millions of dollars in shares of Allogene Therapeutics that month, just weeks after she sold as much as $1 million in stock. In March, she asserted that she had no involvement in her husband’s financial decisions.
But in a statement this week, Feinstein’s office confirmed that she cooperated with the FBI by answering questions last month and had not heard back from the agency since.
“She was happy to voluntarily answer those questions to set the record straight and provided additional documents to show she had no involvement in her husband’s transactions,” her spokesperson said, according to The Hill. “There have been no follow-up actions on this issue.”
Reports indicate senators received private briefings about the virus prior to the widespread realization of its potential threat. In addition to Feinstein, Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), and James Inhofe (R-OK) also reportedly sold shares of various companies.
Allegations cross party lines
The news set off speculation of an insider trading scandal that crossed the political aisle.
Burr has received particular scrutiny since the revelation that he shared warnings about the virus in a private meeting with donors, citing information he received from his position as chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, as NBC News notes.
Burr reportedly sold roughly $1.72 million in stock shortly before the market tanked. As the scandal heated up, he stepped down from the chairmanship and surrendered his cellphone after being served a warrant, The Hill reported.
Loeffler, who reportedly sold off millions of dollars in assets after attending a briefing in January, turned over related documents to investigators on Thursday, according to the New York Post.
While an investigation remains underway and each of these lawmakers is presumed innocent under the law, there seems to be no good way they can spin the decision to dump their stock ahead of an economic downturn that cost millions of Americans their jobs.