On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that, despite Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) repeatedly claiming that his stock portfolio is managed by "outside" advisers, there is evidence that Perdue in fact personally made decisions on individual stock trades.
"On Wednesday, [The New York Times] reported that Perdue was investigated by the Department of Justice as it probed possible insider trading from a number of lawmakers over their investment activity around the coronavirus spread," reported Sam Brodey. "That investigation found that an executive at an Atlanta-based company called Cardlytics, where Perdue had previously served on the board, mistakenly sent Perdue a vague email in January saying changes were coming to the company."
"The Times reported that after receiving that email, Perdue contacted Robert Hutchinson, his investment adviser at Goldman Sachs, and directed him to sell more than $1 million worth of stock in Cardlytics, or about 20 percent of his holdings in the company," said the report. "The FBI obtained a memorialization of that conversation, according to the Times. Weeks later, the company’s stock price bottomed out after an executive shakeup and the announcement of expectations of diminished revenue. The timing of Perdue’s trades shielded him from significant loss."
Another report showed that Perdue later bought back shares of Cardlytics at a much lower price, and made hundreds of thousands of dollars after the stock quadrupled in value.
According to the Beast, federal prosecutors have already investigated this matter and failed to find evidence that he knowingly traded on nonpublic information — and that indeed, his legal saving grace may have been that the Cardlytics email was sent to him accidentally, rather than an intentional tipoff. However, the evidence still suggests Perdue lied to the public about his own involvement in the financial decisions.
Perdue, who is currently in a closely-contested runoff election that will help decide control of the Senate, has also come under scrutiny for his stock trades in a company that designs nuclear submarine equipment for the military, as he chaired a Senate subcommittee that steered business to that contractor in the Pentagon budget.