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Sen. Loeffler’s ‘peek-a-boo trust’ Raising Speculation As She Refuses To Name Broker

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Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler’s questionable stock transactions during the coronavirus pandemic continue to dominate media reports, but it’s her failure to name her broker that is driving the controversy and raising sharp criticism by the media and her opponents.

Moreover, her recent purchase and then quick sale of $46,027 worth of stock in the online travel company Booking Holdings shortly before President Donald Trump announced a travel ban to most European countries has raised even more speculation.

And recent internal polling suggests that her Senate seat appears to be in jeopardy. According to the Battleground Connect survey poll, conducted by her Republican opponent Rep.Doug Collins campaign, 36 percent of likely voters in the state of Georgia support Collins, while only 13 percent support Loeffler. 

Even more significant, the poll shows Loeffler trailing behind her Democratic opponent, pastor Raphael Warnock of the Ebenezer Baptist Church. According to Collins’ internal poll, Warnock has 16 percent of voters’ support.

Collins, who’s represented the 9th district since 2013, has been vocal about Loeffler’s numerous stock transactions calling them ‘questionable’ and ‘sickening.’  Questions began surfacing in February. It was then that Loeffler and her husband Jeffrey Sprecher, an executive at the firm which owns the New York Stock Exchange, sold stocks that were directly affected by the pandemic. During February and March they sold roughly $18.7 million stocks and then purchased stocks that would presumably do better during the coronavirus outbreak. These purchases raised speculation by critics of insider trading, which are allegations the couple has denied repeatedly. 

For example, they purchased stocks in DuPont, which manufactures COVID-19 protective garments. They also purchased stocks in Citrix, a telecom company that has profited amid an uptick in telecommuting, and congressional sources that spoke to SaraACarter.com say there needs to be an investigation into the these transactions.

The most recent transactions were shares purchased and sold several days after in Booking Holdings. The shares were purchased on March 6, according to Loeffler’s reports and then sold shortly after she traveled with President Trump to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Trump announced his travel ban on March 11, but Loeffler sold her stock in the travel company on March 10 and 11.

Loeffler, who was appointed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp after the resignation of former Sen. Johnny Isakson last year over health concerns, has been adamant that she has done nothing wrong. An official with her campaign spoke to SaraACarter.com saying that she is only informed of stock transactions after they occur. 

“Allegations of improper trading are based purely on cherry-picking dates and misrepresenting transactions contained in Senator Loeffler’s Periodic Transaction Reports (PTRs), rather than any actions that Sen. Loeffler took,” stated a spokesperson for Loeffler.

Loeffler’s spokesperson said “For years, her stock portfolio has been managed independently by third-party advisors who plan the investment strategy and implement trades.”

Dan McLagan, the spokesman for Collins’ campaign, told this reporter that her failure and avoidance in answering specific questions about who manages her portfolio raises significant questions.

“Loeffler apparently has a ‘peek-a-boo trust’ rather than a blind one,” said McLagan. “She’s more concerned about her personal profit than the little people she represents with their petty worries about illness, late mortgages and cratered retirement plans.”

But Loeffler’s spokesperson said she is only “notified of transactions after they occur.”

“She has not directed any trades, has not shared any non-pubic information gained in the course of her Senate duties with investment managers, and will continue to act with integrity and transparency,” the spokesperson said. “While some will continue to make baseless accusations devoid of facts, Sen. Loeffler will continue working to keep Americans safe and provide much-needed relief to Georgia families and businesses impacted by COVID-19.”

However, some congressional officials aren’t buying the explanations. One official said “she leads people to the assumption that they don’t have input in the day to day trading.”

“She has never claimed that she has a qualified blind trust,” they stated. “It’s not like she has one because she doesn’t have one. The person conducting the stock transactions could be any person in her family office.”

Although Loeffler sent a comment to this news site, she did not answer specific questions sent by this reporter to her email. Specifically:

  • What type of third party broker does Sen. Loeffler have?
  • Who is the broker? Is there a an advisor between the broker and Sen. Loeffler?
  • Why not a ‘qualified blind trust?’
  • Questions regarding her shares of Booking Holdings are now public – according to her report of shares sold and purchased- On March 6 purchased Booking Holding -she was with President Trump at the CDC when it purchased. Then days later March 10-11, Sen. Loeffler sold off $46,027 (this was just before President Trump restricted Travel from Europe to the United States? Can you explain why these shares were sold so soon after?
  • What is a general comment you can provide to constituents about the situation that you are now in and what can be done to prevent this from happening again?
  • Would you have done anything differently?

Loeffler is not the only member of Congress facing scrutiny, CNN reported last week that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is coordinating a probe with the SEC into the allegations against Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.

His lawyer told CNN that Burr “welcomes a thorough review of the facts in this matter, which will establish that his actions were appropriate.”

Others who have come under criticism for stock sales are Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein, and Jim Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican. CNN reported that neither Feinstein’s and Inhofe’s offices had been contacted by the FBI.
According to reports, Feinstein herself did not sell any stock. However, her husband sold between $1.5 million and $6 million in stock of Allogene Therapeutics, a biotech company, in January and February, as reported.

Inhofe also sold five stocks, with an estimated worth between $180,000 and $400,000, in January. He sold $50,000-$100,000 in February. Both Feinstein and Inhofe say they have no input in their investment portfolios, according to those reports.

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Five returned rental cars used by Biden’s Secret Service burst into flames

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Screen Shot 2022 12 04 at 1.59.43 PM

A bizarre situation involving rental cars used during one of President Joe Biden’s trips has social media and conspiracy theorists busy with speculation.

The day after President Joe Biden left Nantucket for his Thanksgiving holiday, five Hertz rental cars hired by his Secret Service detail burst into flames in the airport parking lot.

The Nantucket Current tweeted out photos and wrote, “The cars were owned by Hertz, and had just been returned by members of the Secret Service who had been using them during President Biden’s visit, sources said.”

A fire “involving multiple rental vehicles recently used by Secret Service agents erupted early Monday morning at Nantucket Memorial Airport,” reported the Current.

According to a statement from Nantucket Memorial Airport, at 5:22 a.m. on Monday, airport staff observed an active fire through the closed circuit TV system in the rental car overflow area. Local fire and police departments responded and contained the fire.

“Something very fishy going on,” one YouTube user commented on the Nantucket Current’s video. “No freakin’ way was this a coincidence. Absolutely no way,” wrote another.

An investigation is underway. The working theory is that the fire started in a Ford Expedition, which was under a safety recall since May due to a faulty battery junction box that has been known to cause underhood fires. The recall affects 66,000 Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators manufactured between December 2020 and April 2021.

“We believe these vehicle fires can be traced to a circuit board supplier that changed manufacturing locations during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic,” according to Ford’s website. “The printed circuit boards produced there are sometimes susceptible to a high-current short.”

“Of the eight fire allegations, six occurred while the vehicle was parked and off, and two occurred while driving,” says the initial March 2022 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the part of the Department of Transportation that investigates car safety issues. Interestingly, the eight vehicles were owned by multiple rental car companies at various locations.

By mid-May, the government had 16 reports of underhood fires in 2021 Expedition and Navigator vehicles. Of those, 14 were rental vehicles and 12 of the fires had occurred while the vehicle was parked with the engine off. Consequently, Ford has advised owners that these vehicles should be parked outdoors and away from buildings.

In an email to Forbes, Hertz confirmed that it was working with the local authorities on their investigation but did not confirm that the Explorer in question had been scheduled for service under the recall.

 

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