If President Donald Trump really wants to "drain the swamp," he can start with his own party.
On January 24, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield and National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NAID) director Anthony Fauci briefed Senators on how the Trump administration would be responding to the imminent COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. The briefing was private.
Shortly after, multiple Republican Senators, including Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), sold a collective millions of dollars in stocks.
Both Senators were publicly echoing President Donald Trump's administration that lawmakers were prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here's Loeffler assuring her constituents of a strong economy and ample preparation for the pandemic as recently as March 10.
In addition to Loeffler selling millions of dollars in stock, she also invested hundreds of thousands in Citrix—a telework company. Citrix's stock saw an uptick as Americans were encouraged to work remotely. Loeffler's husband is also the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.
In private, Burr warned high profile constituents that the pandemic could result in a stock market plunge and cripple numerous industries—including that of business travel. Burr sold stocks in Wyndham Hotels and Extended Stay America—both of whose stock prices would plummet after Americans across the country would be urged to begin working from home.
Burr's February stock sales rose exponentially after the briefing.
Given the Senators' private intel, some are accusing them of insider trading, which became illegal for members of Congress in 2012.
Even their fellow Republicans are calling on them to explain—and even resign.
Other Republicans began accusing Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) of selling her stock in response to the briefing as well, though it appears these sales were different, with Feinstein selling her stock at its lowest price in 52 weeks, before it rose then fell again in response to the epidemic.
Loeffler claims that the accusations against her are "ridiculous," and that a third party handles her stock market transactions. She claims she didn't know of the sales until weeks after.
Burr said he relied solely on public news for his stock information.
Even after the questionable defenses, Americans across the country maintain that Loeffler and Burr's actions are a disgrace to their offices.
Their corruption is threatening to haunt Donald Trump as well.
The swamp is murkier than ever.