Georgia Sen. Loeffler gets renewed scrutiny over stock moves

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., waits to speak during a television interview on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, March 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON – The husband of Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler recently acquired as much as $415,000 in stock in DuPont de Nemours, a chemical company that manufactures protective equipment in exceedingly high demand because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The transaction, detailed in a mandatory disclosure the Republican filed late Tuesday, comes as senators in both parties have faced questions about the stock transactions they made in the weeks before the coronavirus upended the U.S. economy, wiping out jobs and personal wealth.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., whose sales of as much as $1.7 million in stocks have come under the most scrutiny, requested an ethics review of his actions in the days before markets dropped in February. The FBI has also contacted him about the sale. He has denied trading on inside information.

Like Burr, Loeffler came under fire last month after she and her husband dumped substantial portions of their portfolio. The transactions came after a series of private congressional briefings on the then-burgeoning pandemic.

The new purchases disclosed by Loeffler include the purchase of DuPont stock, a company that could see profits soar from the sale of protective equipment as hospitals search for desperately needed supply. Loeffler says she had no involvement in the trades.

“Her stock portfolio is managed independently by third-party advisors," said spokeswoman Kerry Rom. “Sen. Loeffler continues to operate with integrity and transparency –- following both the spirit and the letter of the law.”

Their latest financial moves are likely to give more ammunition to critics of the newly appointed senator, who is on the ballot this year. Her top Republican primary rival, Rep. Doug Collins, previously accused her of “profiting” while “people are losing their jobs, their businesses, their retirements.”

The mandatory disclosures senators must make do not detail specific amounts of stock sales or purchases. Instead, they give a range in dollars of the value of each transaction.