Kelly Loeffler
Kelly Loeffler is a Republican Senator from Georgia. Office of Senator Kelly Loeffler / Public domain

Facing pressure from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Democrats, Republicans, and everyone in between, Senator Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and her husband, CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, Jeff Sprecher, have decided to liquidate their individual holdings. This comes after weeks of uproar around Loeffler and Senator Richard Burr, R-NC., selling stocks right after a national security briefing they both received where intelligence officials warned of the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This event proved to be a bridge too far even for some in Burr and Loeffler’s own party. Republican Representatives like Matt Gaetz, one of Trump’s most loyal allies in the House, have spoken out publicly against what many have deemed insider trading.

Sen. Loeffler defended herself in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal, asserting that she "never used any confidential information I received while performing my Senate duties as a means of making a private profit." She went on to elaborate that her "family’s investments are managed by third-party advisers at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Sepio Capital and Wells Fargo" and that "We don’t direct trading in these accounts."

Jeff Sprecher sold $19 million of his holdings at the same time Loeffler did, and he has also come under increased scrutiny. Public filings with the SEC show that the NYSE CEO sold $3.5 million shares of Intercontinental Exchange, and these were not disclosed in Loeffler's March 12 financial disclosures.

Experts told CBS that Sprecher's sales should have been disclosed on those forms. In response to all this activity, the SEC issued a sharp warning against insider trading, asserting that “trading in a company’s securities on the basis of inside information may violate the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws.”