Georgia Sen. David Perdue’s stock trades sparked federal inquiry

In their debate before the Nov. 3 election, Jon Ossoff challenged Perdue on the probes into his stock dumping.

Georgia Sen. David Perdue will go head-to-head with Jon Ossoff in the 2020 U.S. Senate runoff race in January.

In their debate days before the Nov. 3 election, Ossoff challenged Perdue on the federal investigations into his stock dumping, actions that are now coming clearer in the light.

Sen. David Perdue talks with a supporter during a “Defend the Majority” rally at the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agriculture Center in Perry, Georgia. Purdue is facing Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff in a January 5th runoff race. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

New reporting from The New York Times notes that in early 2020, the Republican senator sold more than $1 million of stock in the financial company Cardlytics, where he once served on the board. Six weeks later, the stock price fell.

After the drop, Perdue bought back a “substantial portion of the shares he had sold.” The stock rebounded, earning him a significant bump in his portfolio.

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The New York Times confirmed that the Department of Justice investigated Perdue for possible insider trading. The probe closed over the summer.

On Oct. 28, in their Savannah, Georgia debate, Ossoff challenged Perdue to answer why he sold stock ahead of the coronavirus pandemic. “Perhaps Senator Perdue would have been able to respond properly to the COVID-19 pandemic if you hadn’t been fending off multiple federal investigations for insider trading.”

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“It’s not just that you’re a crook, senator,” Ossoff continued. “It’s that you’re attacking the health of the people that you represent. You did say COVID-19 was no deadlier than the flu. You did say there would be no significant uptick in cases. All the while, you were looking after your own assets and your own portfolio.”

The fiery takedown prompted Perdue to cancel a second debate with Ossoff. There are currently no debates scheduled before their January face-off.

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The Times notes that sitting members of Congress are not barred from trading stocks; however, like every other citizen, they are not allowed to use insider information. The newspaper called Perdue “one of the most active traders on Capitol Hill.”

Fellow Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler was also investigated after she sold a significant amount of stock following briefings on COVID-19 at the beginning of the pandemic. She, too, was cleared of wrongdoing by the Department of Justice.

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