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Georgia’s other senator bought stock in personal protective equipment while receiving classified coronavirus briefings: report

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Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia -- Facebook

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) took explosive criticism following reports that she dumped retail stocks and purchased shares in companies selling medical gowns and telework software following classified briefings on coronavirus earlier in the year.

But according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia’s other senator is also facing new questions about his own stock transactions around the same time.

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“U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s financial portfolio saw heavy trading during the month of March, a period during which Congress passed three different spending bills to address the spread of COVID-19 and the markets took a turn for the worse,” wrote Tia Mitchell. “The report lists 112 transactions, including 76 stock purchases costing as much as $1.8 million and 34 sales worth up to $825,000. Compared with the 26-month period before the coronavirus swept across America, Perdue’s portfolio activity has increased nearly threefold. There were an average of 38 individual transactions in monthly reports from January 2018 through February 2020.”

“For example, he made a number of purchases of stock in DuPont de Nemours, a chemical company that supplies personal protective equipment used by people trying to avoid exposure to the virus. That includes buying shares worth as much as $65,000 on Jan. 24, the same day that the Senate held a members-only briefing on the novel coronavirus,” continued the report. “He also continued to sell off shares of Caesar Entertainment, the casino company whose properties were shuttered as the virus spread. On March 26 the senator invested up to $50,000 in streaming provider Netflix, which has seen a surge in traffic as people stay home.”

A few of his stock transactions appeared to cost him money too, however. For example, he sold shares in the grocery chain Kroger, which has seen a surge in business as people stock up on supplies to ride out shelter-in-place orders around the country.

Perdue, like Loeffler, contends that he has followed Senate rules and his actions do not constitute insider trading. Cherie Gillan, his spokeswoman, said that Perdue “is not involved in day-to-day decisions” about his investments and “has fully complied with federal law and all Senate ethics requirements.”

Both senators are standing for re-election this year.

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