David Perdue has been the most prolific stock trader in the Senate: NYTimes
Senator David Perdue. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) has been under the magnifying glass for his stock trades while in office, particularly ones since he learned about the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent economic crash that followed.

The New York Times calculated that Perdue, who is up for reelection in January, made 2,596 trades in one term in office, according to his stock portfolio. During the presidential campaign, President Donald Trump claimed that he would put all of his investments in a "blind trust" so as to protect against any possible accusation that he was making decisions in office based on his finances. Trump never did and Perdue hasn't either, despite being in office for the past six years.

Perdue is a member of the Senate cybersecurity subcommittee and has raised alarms claiming that overseas hackers are a threat to the United States. The evidence he said comes from a California company called FireEye, which has federal contracts that do malware detection. Perdue also owns as much as $250,000 in shares of the company, after making 61 purchases since 2016.

"Along with Senator Kelly Loeffler, a fellow Georgia Republican, Mr. Perdue faces an unusual runoff election in January," reported the Times. "With control of the Senate at stake, and amid renewed concern about the potential for conflicts of interest in stock trading by members of Congress, Mr. Perdue’s investment activity — and especially his numerous well-timed trades — has increasingly come into the public glare."

Perdue was under investigation from Trump's Justice Department for possible insider trading on more than $1 million of stocks. Attorney General Bill Barr "declined to bring charges." But those deals are far from the only stock trades that media outlets are revealing. Many of the deals fall under the purview of Perdue's committees.

There is also a question about whether when asked about the stock trades, Perdue lied about it.

The Times used data from Senate Stock Watcher, a nonpartisan group that researches the stock trades of federal officials. They found that the Georgia Senator's "transactions accounted for nearly a third of all Senate trades reported in the past six years. His 2,596 trades, mostly in stocks but also in bonds and funds, roughly equal the combined trading volume of the next five most active traders in the Senate."

"The data also shows the breadth of trades Mr. Perdue made in companies that stood to benefit from policy and spending matters that came not just before the Senate as a whole, but before the committees and subcommittees on which he served," the report also said.

While Barr's Justice Department decided that there was no wrongdoing for the $1 million in trades, that doesn't include the other thousands of trades he's done since 2016. The incoming Justice Department could find further information in a future investigation.

Read the full details at the New York Times.