• Today
    March 31

  • 01:05 PM

Senators in hot seat

BBC,

Added 21 March 2020

richard-burr-and-kelly-loeffler

Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler (GP)

WASHINGTON – Four United States senators are under scrutiny over claims they used insider knowledge about the impending coronavirus crisis to sell shares before prices plummeted.

Republicans Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler face calls to quit after selling millions in stocks last month.

James Inhofe, a Republican, and Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, also reportedly sold holdings at the time.

It is illegal for Congress members to trade based on non-public information gathered during their official duties.

All four senators deny any impropriety.

Burr, of North Carolina, reportedly dumped up to $1.7m (£1.45m) of stocks last month.

Loeffler, of Georgia, is reported to have sold holdings worth up to $3m in a series of transactions beginning the same day as a Senate briefing on the virus.

Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has also come under fire after US outlet NPR obtained a recording of him warning a group of wealthy constituents last month about the dire economic impact of the coronavirus, at a time when the US President Donald Trump administration was publicly downplaying the threat. He also told the group to curtail their travel.

Burr has accused NPR of “misrepresenting” his speech. (BBC)

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