Sen. Feinstein Grilled by FBI Over Shady Pre-Coronavirus Crash Stock Dump
Democrat's husband sold off millions in stock before COVID-19 market crash
Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) has been grilled by the FBI after it emerged her husband dumped millions of dollars worth of stocks just before the markets crashed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Federal law enforcement officials have questioned Feinstein over suspicious stock trades made by Richard Blum, the senator’s husband.
Sen. Feinstein’s office says she was contacted by the FBI about stock sales her husband made early in the coronavirus pandemic.
“Senator Feinstein was asked some basic questions by law enforcement about her husband’s stock transactions,” Feinstein spokesman Tom Mentzer said.
"She was happy to voluntarily answer those questions to set the record straight and provided additional documents to show she had no involvement in her husband’s transactions."
The California Democrat is one of four senators facing scrutiny for stock sales early in the crisis.
The FBI served a warrant Wednesday on Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) and seized his cellphone.
Spokesman Mentzer says Feinstein was contacted last month and provided the FBI with written answers.
Mentzer told the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday that the California senator turned over documents that show she wasn’t involved in her husband’s stock trades, and “voluntarily” answered “questions to set the record straight.”
She claims that she never mentioned to her husband that the world was about to be hit with the biggest economic crisis in years.
Feinstein tweeted on March 20 that her assets have been in a blind trust throughout her Senate career, which began in 1992.
Under Senate rules I report my husband's financial transactions. 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.— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) March 20, 2020
Allogene Therapeutics, the biotech company whose shares her husband traded, closed at $21.72 per share on January 31 and $24.25 on February 18, according to The Daily Wire.
The company is currently trading at $42.55 per share.
Feinstein, the former chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, disclosed the conversation with law enforcement officials as Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) agreed to step down from his position as Senate Intelligence Chair amidst an investigation into his stock activities on February 13.
In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Burr approached him with the decision on Thursday morning, and they both agreed it “would be in the best interests of the committee.”
As the Los Angeles Times previously reported, the FBI obtained a search warrant for the senator and confiscated his cell phone.
Law enforcement officials told the news agency that they were looking at his conversations with his stockbroker, and in previous days served a warrant to Apple in order to access information on the senator’s iCloud account.
Information about Burr’s stock activities was unearthed in late March by ProPublica, which reported that the senator and his wife “sold off a significant percentage of his stocks” over the course of 33 transactions in a single day.
The trades amounted to between $628,000 and $1.72 million, reports the news agency.
Burr told reporters on Thursday that he has been complying with the investigation since the beginning, and that “everybody ought to let this investigation play out,” reports CNBC.
The senator also said he was stepping down as chairman because the ongoing investigation was a “distraction to the hard work of the committee.”
Burr has previously said that he made his financial decisions based on publicly available information, specifically referencing reports at CNBC daily health, according to the Associated Press.