It would be nice if Senator David Perdue, one of two Republicans in Georgia Senate run-offs that will determine whether the Democrats’ last four years of sabotaging President Trump’s Presidency is considered a success or a failure, was an ethical, trustworthy official. But as if Perdue already didn’t have enough obstacles to winning re-election, like the ridiculous attempted boycott of the run-offs some Republican wackos are pushing (the boycott plan narrowly beating out holding their breath and setting their heads on fire as alternatives to voting), there is also this: he appears to be among the worst of Congress’s inside traders.
I’ve written a lot about this ongoing scandal. (The chart above is from one of the earliest posts.) The practice continues because both parties’ members make so much money from it that they refuse to police themselves adequately. Perdue is just the latest offender to come under public scrutiny. This time, the motivation for the exposure is the critical nature of the Georgia races, prompting the now open and obvious committed ally of the Democratic Party, the New York Times, to do a front page hit job on the Senator their Dark Masters have to destroy. But just as being paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you, being biased doesn’t mean you can’t be right. The Times article about Perdue is damning, and not especially surprising, since I would believe the same of most members of Congress. This is literally sanctioned corruption, and has been for a long, long time.
From the Times article:
“As a member of the Senate’s cybersecurity subcommittee, David Perdue has raised alarms that hackers from overseas pose a threat to U.S. computer networks. Citing a frightening report by a California-based company called FireEye, Mr. Perdue was among the senators who asked this spring that the National Guard prepare to protect against such data breaches.
“Not only was the issue important to Mr. Perdue, so was FireEye, a federal contractor that provides malware detection and threat-intelligence services. Beginning in 2016, the senator bought and sold FireEye stock 61 times, at one point owning as much as $250,000 worth of shares in the company…
“Last week, The New York Times reported that the Justice Department had investigated the senator for possible insider trading in his sale of more than $1 million worth of stock in a financial-analysis firm, Cardlytics. Ultimately, prosecutors declined to bring charges. Other media outlets have revealed several trades in companies whose business dealings fall under the jurisdiction of Mr. Perdue’s committees.An examination of Mr. Perdue’s stock trading during his six years in office reveals that he has been the Senate’s most prolific stock trader by far, sometimes reporting 20 or more transactions in a single day….”
“The Times analyzed data compiled by Senate Stock Watcher, a nonpartisan website that aggregates publicly available information on lawmakers’ trading, and found that Mr. Perdue’s transactions accounted for nearly a third of all senators’ trades reported in the past six years. His 2,596 trades, mostly in stocks but also in bonds and funds, roughly equal the combined trading volume of the next five most active traders in the Senate.”
There is much more. Many of Senator Perdue’s trades involved companies in a position to benefit from policy and spending decisions that were being considered by the committees and subcommittees of which he was a member. Nearly half of Perdue’s FireEye trades occurred while he sat on the cybersecurity panel, which might have provided him with nonpublic information about companies like FireEye. While Perdue sat on that panel, FireEye landed a subcontract worth more than $30 million with the Army Cyber Command, which had operations at Fort Gordon in Georgia. In 2018, Mr. Perdue reported capital gains of up to $15,000 from FireEye trades.
In another episode, Perdue began buying stock in BWX Technologies, a Virginia-based company that supplies nuclear components for Navy submarines about a month before he took over as chairman of the Senate’s seapower subcommittee. Once there, he promoted adding a multibillion-dollar nuclear submarine of the type BWX Technologies provides components for. He reported earnings between $15,000 and $50,000 in capital gains when he sold that stock.
This is all, at very least, the appearance of impropriety, which Senators and Representatives are forbidding from engaging in. It’s not even a close call.
If the Republicans lose the Senate because enough voters are disgusted by this and refuse to trust a Senator who used his position to benefit financially, it is the party’s own fault. Republicans should police such conduct, and could. They apparently care more about their own riches than the fate of the nation.