Senators including Democrat Dianne Feinstein are under fire for selling millions in stocks before the coronavirus stock market crash.
Some people are even accusing the senators of profiteering off the pain of every day Americans.
Feinstein sold between $1.5 and $6 million in a biotechnology company's stock before market uncertainty hit.
The senators, including Feinstein, are said to have made the move after the Trump administration provided the senators with classified briefings on the virus.
More details can be seen below:
Since the transactions were made public, Feinstein has maintained that she hasn't done anything wrong.
A spokesperson said: "All of Senator Feinstein's assets are in a blind trust. She has no involvement in her husband's financial decisions."
Feinstein isn't the only senator who has come under public scrutiny.
Three of her colleagues are reported to have sold off large amounts of stock as well.
Fox News has more on the stock sell-off:
Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and three of her Senate colleagues reported selling off stocks worth millions of dollars in the days before the coronavirus outbreak crashed the market, according to reports.
The data is listed on a U.S. Senate website containing financial disclosures from Senate members.
Feinstein, who serves as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and her husband sold between $1.5 million and $6 million in stock in California biotech company Allogene Therapeutics, between Jan. 31 and Feb. 18, The New York Times reported.
Feinstein defended herself in a series of tweets on Friday, saying she has "no control" over her assets and the stocks in question were her husband's transactions.
"During my Senate career I’ve held all assets in a blind trust of which I have no control. 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," she tweeted.
"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."
When questioned by the newspaper, a spokesman for the Democrat from San Francisco also said Feinstein wasn’t directly involved in the sale.
“All of Senator Feinstein’s assets are in a blind trust,” the spokesman, Tom Mentzer, told the Times. “She has no involvement in her husband’s financial decisions.”
The senators involved have all taken to Twitter to defend their actions:
The other senators who sold off millions in stocks are reported to be Richard Burr of North Carolina, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and James Inhofe of Oklahoma.
While many Democrats are pointing out that the others are Republicans, it's worth noting that Trump had previously endorsed Loeffler's opponent.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Feinstein has been actively trying to clear her name:
Feinstein and her husband, investment banker Richard Blum, sold shares in Allogene Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, according to her financial disclosures. They sold shares on Jan. 13 and Feb. 18. The stock subsequently rose in value, peaking in early March.
Feinstein said her husband sold shares in a cancer therapy company that “is unrelated to any work on the coronavirus and the sale was unrelated to the situation.”
Feinstein’s comments came as a furor erupted around reports of stock sales by GOP Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, chairman of the Intelligence Committee. He and his wife sold 33 stocks on Feb. 13 worth a total $628,000 to $1.7 million, according to media reports, including more than $200,000 in hotel chain stocks. Many of the stocks have plunged in value since the pandemic struck the U.S.
Two other Republican senators, Sens. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, also sold large amounts of stock shortly before the pandemic hit, according to media reports.
Feinstein said reports that she attended a Jan. 24 Intelligence Committee classified briefing with administration officials on the coronavirus threat were incorrect. That briefing was in the same time frame as the stock sales by her and the other senators.
“I was unable to attend,” Feinstein tweeted.
The stock market began swinging wildly after uncertainty over the coronavirus became apparent.
While most forecasters predict negative growth in Q2, many are optimistic for a "V-shaped" recovery if life returns to normal within the next few weeks.
The coronavirus pandemic has been described as "black swan" event that doesn't accurately represent the strength of the U.S. economy.