Senate Ethics panel dismisses stock sale probe against Loeffler

Senate Ethics panel dismisses stock sale probe against Loeffler
© Greg Nash

The Senate Ethics Committee announced on Tuesday that it is dismissing two insider trading complaints against Sen. Kelly LoefflerKelly LoefflerThe Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux  Sabato's Crystal Ball shifts Iowa Senate race to 'toss-up,' Georgia toward GOP Loeffler knocks WNBA players for wearing shirts backing Democratic challenger MORE (R-Ga.). 

The panel, in a letter to Loeffler, said that it had "conducted a preliminary inquiry" into allegations of potential insider trading as part of complaints made by Common Cause and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

"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. Accordingly, consistent with its precedent, the Committee has dismissed this matter," Deborah Sue Mayer, the chief counsel and staff director, wrote to Loeffler.

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Loeffler, who was appointed to the Senate and sworn in this past January, has been under fierce scrutiny for nearly $20 million in stock transactions in late February and early March. Among those scrutinizing her has been Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsSabato's Crystal Ball shifts Iowa Senate race to 'toss-up,' Georgia toward GOP Loeffler knocks WNBA players for wearing shirts backing Democratic challenger WNBA players wear 'Vote Warnock' shirts in support of Loeffler Democratic challenger MORE (R-Ga.), who is hoping to unseat her as they battle for the final two years of former Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonSabato's Crystal Ball shifts Iowa Senate race to 'toss-up,' Georgia toward GOP WNBA players wear 'Vote Warnock' shirts in support of Loeffler Democratic challenger Trump and Biden tied in Georgia: poll MORE's (R) term. 

Loeffler has said the transactions were made by a third-party adviser and she didn’t learn about them until after the fact. She has since liquidated her individual stocks and converted her assets into broader mutual funds and exchange traded funds.

A Loeffler spokesperson did a victory lap over the Ethics Committee findings on Tuesday, saying the GOP senator had been "exonerated."

“The Senate Ethics Committee has come to the exact same conclusion as the U.S. Department of Justice: Senator Loeffler did absolutely nothing wrong and has been completely exonerated. 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 aide said.

A spokesperson said in May that Loeffler had forwarded “documents and information” to the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Senate Ethics Committee.

The Justice Department has already announced that it was closing its investigations into stock sales involving Loeffler, Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeSenate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled Chamber of Commerce endorses Ernst for reelection MORE (R-Okla.) and Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Yates spars with GOP at testy hearing Democrats want Biden to debate Trump despite risks MORE (D-Calif.) that were made earlier this year in the lead-up to, or the start of, the coronavirus pandemic.