questionable motives
March 20, 2020

On Jan. 24, the same day she attended a private briefing hosted by the Senate Health Committee on the coronavirus outbreak, Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.) sold between $50,001 and $100,000 worth of stock from Resideo Technologies, The Daily Beast reports. Since then, Resideo's stock price has fallen by more than half.

Records show that between Jan. 24 and Feb. 14, Loeffler and her husband, New York Stock Exchange Chairman Jeff Sprecher, sold stock worth between $1.3 million and $3.1 million. Loeffler, who is worth an estimated $500 million, also made two purchases of stock in technology companies. One of those companies, Citrix, offers teleworking software, and she bought stock worth between $100,000 and $250,000.

The 15 stocks Loeffler reported selling during that time period have since lost, on average, more than a third of their value, The Daily Beast reports. As late as March 10, Loeffler was tweeting that "the consumer is strong, the economy is strong, & jobs are growing, which puts us in the best economic position to tackle #COVID19 & keep Americans safe."

Loeffler wasn't the only senator to sell off large stock holdings while learning about the magnitude of the global coronavirus pandemic. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, unloaded between $628,000 and $1.7 million of his stocks on Feb. 13, during a time when he received daily classified briefings on the coronavirus. Catherine Garcia

Update 12:50 a.m.: Loeffler claimed in response to the Daily Beast article that she doesn't trade her own stocks and was unaware of what her investment advisers had done until Feb. 16.

October 11, 2019

The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine called out President Trump in her congressional testimony Friday, saying he pushed her out based on "false claims" peddled by people with "questionable motives."

Marie Yovanovitch, who served as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine until May 2019, testified as part of the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry, which was sparked by a whistleblower complaint alleging Trump abused his power by pushing for Ukraine investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

Yovanovitch told lawmakers she was informed by the deputy secretary of state earlier this year she was being removed from her position even though "I had done nothing wrong" because Trump had been pressuring the State Department to do so since 2018. On Wednesday, two associates of Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, were arrested and charged with campaign finance violations, having allegedly lobbied for Yovanovitch's removal on behalf of a Ukrainian government official.

"Although I understand that I served at the pleasure of the president, I was nevertheless incredulous that the U.S. government chose to remove an ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives," Yovanovitch testified.

Among the allegations she refuted as being false were that she was "disloyal" to Trump or privately said to ignore his orders because he would be impeached. Giuliani has labeled her "part of the efforts against the president."

"I do not know Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me," she says. "Individuals who have been named in the press as contacts of Mr. Giuliani may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine."

Yovanovitch concludes her withering opening statement by suggesting that "corrupt interests in Ukraine" fought back against her by "selling conspiracy theories to anyone who would listen."

"Sadly," she says, "someone was listening, and our nation is the worse off for that." Brendan Morrow

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