Almost 50 members of Congress, between both houses, made thousands of stock exchanges during the coronavirus outbreak in an effort to capitalize on the economic turmoil, according to a report by Politico.
The report comes from a watchdog group called the Campaign Legal Center, which found that from early February to early April, various stock transactions were made by 12 senators and 37 representatives; the former made a total of 127 transactions, while the latter made over 1,300 transactions in the same time period.
These transactions could constitute insider-trading, as Congress had been attending closed-door meetings on the potential economic impact of the coronavirus in the days and weeks before the shutdowns began. Initially, the scrutiny was focused on a handful of senators who had engaged in such trading, including Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).
In a statement assessing their own report, the CLC declared that “ground for suspicion remains as members of Congress buy and sell stock for their personal portfolios, while simultaneously picking winners and losers in the market as they craft economic stimulus packages.” The group has called for new laws to prevent lawmakers from being able to make individual stock transactions, and other measures to prevent insider-trading.