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Senate Ethics Committee dismisses probe into Kelly Loeffler over insider trading allegations

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Washington — The Senate Ethics Committee has dropped its investigation into whether Senator Kelly Loeffler, a Republican from Georgia, engaged in insider trading before the coronavirus pandemic roiled the financial markets, it said Tuesday.

The panel said in a letter to Loeffler that it "did not find evidence" her stock trades violated federal law, Senate rules or standards of conduct.

The Georgia Republican celebrated the committee's dismissal of the matter, writing on Twitter "the fake news media takes another loss. Exonerated. Again."

Two government watchdog groups, Common Cause and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed complaints with the Ethics Committee in late March that centered around stock transactions made by Loeffler and her husband after she received a closed-door briefing on the coronavirus pandemic. The groups also requested the committee investigate similar trades from GOP Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California.

Loeffler and her husband sold between $1.2 million and $3.1 million in stocks following the January 24 meeting, raising questions as to whether she used nonpublic information to inform the transactions. The trades came before the stock market tumbled due to concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

Loeffler has maintained she did not engage in wrongdoing and said investment decisions are made by third-party advisers without her knowledge. She and her husband, Intercontinental Exchange CEO Jeffrey Sprecher, cashed out their individual stock holdings after the trades came under scrutiny and moved their money into diversified mutual funds.

The Justice Department also launched its own inquiry into the transactions but ended its investigation into Loeffler in May.

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