“Although Senate ethics rules don’t require it, my husband and I are liquidating our holdings in managed accounts and moving into exchange-traded funds and mutual funds,” Loeffler wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. “I will report these exiting transactions in the periodic transaction report I file later this month.”
She added: “I’m not doing this because I have to. . . . I’m doing it because the issue isn’t worth the distraction.”
Loeffler’s stock transactions came under scrutiny last month when the Daily Beast reported that while the senator was publicly playing down the dangers of the coronavirus, she and her husband had sold stock after she attended an early closed-door Senate briefing.
One of only two stock purchases during that time was in Citrix, a company that produces teleworking equipment and stood to benefit from offices closing because of the virus, according to the report.
Loeffler has repeatedly denounced the accusations as “baseless attacks” and reiterated in her Wednesday op-ed that “no material or nonpublic information” was discussed during the Jan. 24 briefing.
“The truth, as I said when the accusations first surfaced, is that I have never used any confidential information I received while performing my Senate duties as a means of making a private profit,” she wrote. “Nor has anyone in my family.”
Loeffler was appointed last December to succeed Sen. Johnny Isakson (R), who retired because of health concerns. She faces a tough election race this November for the remaining two years of Isakson’s term, and the stock issue has already been used by one of her top rivals for the seat, Rep. Douglas A. Collins (R-Ga.).
On Tuesday, Collins renewed his criticism of Loeffler, tweeting: “She’s more concerned about her personal profit than the little people she represents with their petty worries about illness, late mortgages and cratered retirement plans.”
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, meanwhile, dismissed Loeffler’s move to liquidate her stock as a “PR stunt” that won’t help her “sweep her spiraling stock scandal and the questions it’s raised under the rug.”
“Here are the facts: Loeffler quietly profited off a surge in stock trading after she attended a private briefing and then continued to downplay the real threat coronavirus posed to Georgia’s economy and public health,” Helen Kalla, a spokeswoman for the DSCC, said in a statement.
Manuel Roig-Franzia contributed to this report.