While I was wasting time last night writing about Jim Inhofe trying to reinforce his tough guy persona, people on Twitter were noticing he sold up to $500,000 in stock just days after a January 24th senate briefing about the Coronavirus.
So uhhh… that all-senators Senate Health Committee briefing was on 1/24, right? pic.twitter.com/VuIQhClgt1
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) March 20, 2020
In all fairness, if a high-ranking government official came up to me a couple of months ago and said, “Hey, Patrick – this Coronathing is going to devastate the economy. 80% – 90% of your business revenue is going to dry up like a raisin in the sun, and the stock market will go down more than 20%,” I probably would have sold stock and not told anyone, too!
Then again, I’m just a dude who’s totally shell-shocked by what’s happening. I’m not a US Senator who both voted for, and is supposed to abide by, the STOCK act – a 2012 law designed to prevent federal lawmakers from doing what Jim Inhofe apparently did, and use non-public information for private profit.
Just like he did the last time he was accused of insider trading, Jim Inhofe is denying that he had any inside information, and is playing off the curiously timed move as just a coincidence:
The New York Times allegations are completely baseless and 100 percent false. I was not at the briefing on January 24. I was meeting with pro-life kids from Oklahoma here for the March for Life and the new nominee to be U.S. Ambassador to Tanzania.
— Sen. Jim Inhofe (@JimInhofe) March 20, 2020
Who cares that he still could have been briefed on the financial impact of the Coronavirus virus and then instructed his broker to sell stock, that’s a legitimate excuse. It’s lucky for him that he had more important things to do than attend a briefing about a viral threat that has the potential to kill millions and wreck the global economy.