Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, has denied any malfeasance in financial transactions undertaken during late January and mid-February as a controversy around politicians selling off stock prior to a coronavirus-related market downturn swept across social media on Thursday evening.
“During my Senate career I’ve held all assets in a blind trust of which I have no control,” Feinstein wrote on Twitter. “Reports that I sold any assets are incorrect, as are reports that I was at a January 24 briefing on coronavirus, which I was unable to attend.”
In a second tweet, Feinstein elaborated further.
“Under Senate rules I report my husband’s financial transactions,” she wrote. “I have no input into his decisions. My husband in January and February sold shares of a cancer therapy company. This company is unrelated to any work on the coronavirus and the sale was unrelated to the situation.”
Feinstein is married to Richard Blum, a prominent financier.
On Thursday afternoon, ProPublica reported that Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), the chair of the Intelligence Committee, dumped between $628,000 and $1.72 million worth of stock on February 13. Sen. Burr’s trades preceded a sharp decline in the stock market by about a week. As the New York Times noted, Burr receives “regular briefings on threats to the United States, including the coronavirus” as part of his duties as chairman of the committee.
After the Burr story broke, reporters for the New York Times looked into financial disclosures submitted by other senators around that same period of time and found that Feinstein had offloaded between $1.5 million and $6 million of stock in a biotech company on January 31 and February 18. Feinstein is also a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Lachlan Markley, a reporter for The Daily Beast, analyzed Feinstein’s filings and concluded that her sale was harmless.
“This one is clearly innocuous as well,” Markley wrote. “In fact, her husband’s $1M-5M sale of shares in biopharma company Allogene actually came at a low-point in its stock value, as noted by Barron’s a few weeks ago(.)”
DAWG SAYS: I WAS PRETTY CONFIDENT SHE WAS NOT GOING TO CONFESS, BUT I AM SURE SHE NEVERS TELLS HER RICH HUSBAND WHO HAS THE HIGH-SPEED RAIL CONTRACTS ANY INSIDE INFORMATION.