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May 26, 2020, 4:32 p.m. EDT

Justice Department ends insider-trading probe into Sen. Kelly Loeffler; investigation of Sen. Richard Burr’s prepandemic trades continues

Two months ago, members of Congress and their advisers sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock after attending a closed-door briefing about the new coronavirus

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By Aruna Viswanatha


Associated Press
Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., waits to speak during a television interview on Capitol Hill on March 20.

The Justice Department is closing investigations into three U.S. senators for stocks trades made shortly before the coronavirus market turmoil, but is continuing a related investigation into Sen. Richard Burr, according to people familiar with the matter.

Prosecutors on Tuesday are alerting defense attorneys for Republicans Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and James Inhofe of Oklahoma as well as Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California, that they are closing investigations into their trading, the people said.

Key Words: Sen. Kelly Loeffler tries to put to rest controversy over portfolio moves as pandemic approached: ‘My family will divest from individual stocks’

Also: Two senators under scrutiny over selling stock before the coronavirus market crash — but do insider-trading laws apply?

The Federal Bureau of Investigation began the investigations two months ago, as reports emerged that several members of Congress, their spouses or their investment advisers sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock after lawmakers attended closed-door briefings about the threat posed by the new coronavirus. Some of those trades spared lawmakers as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses as stocks sank by mid-March.

All of the lawmakers have denied any impropriety in the trading. Feinstein, Loeffler and Inhofe have said their investment advisers made the trades, and that they didn’t learn of them until after the fact.

An expanded version of this story appears at WSJ.com.

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