The Daily Beast: “Perdue’s investment in BWX is not the first time the senator, one of the most active stock traders in Congress and one of its wealthiest members, has engaged in conspicuously timed trading.”
Atlanta, Ga. — Tonight, The Daily Beast released a bombshell report on Sen. David Perdue’s (R-Ga.) latest stock trading scandal, exposing how Perdue appeared to use his position as the Chairman of the Senate Seapower Subcommittee to line his own pockets. Perdue has been caught in controversy around his stock trades all year.
In response, Ossoff released the following statement:
“David Perdue’s corruption and self-dealing are flagrant. He is blatantly exploiting his office to line his own pockets. This conduct is utterly inexcusable,” Ossoff said.
Read key excerpts from The Daily Beast’s report below:
- Right before he was put in charge of a powerful Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over the U.S. Navy, Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) began buying up stock in a company that made submarine parts. And once he began work on a bill that ultimately directed additional Navy funding for one of the firm’s specialized products, Perdue sold off the stock, earning him tens of thousands of dollars in profits.
- In the month before he took over the job, Perdue did something unusual: he acquired up to $190,000 worth of stock in BWX Technologies, a company he had never invested in before.
- Perdue would have a key role in shaping the NDAA as Seapower chairman, and later as one of the few lawmakers hand-picked by party leadership to hammer out the final version of the bill between the House and Senate. By the time the bill passed the Senate in June, Perdue touted several wins—one of which was securing $4.7 billion for Virginia-class submarines. As it happens, BWX is one of two to three vendors with Pentagon contracts to design and make key parts for Virginia-class submarines, including nuclear reactors that power them and the systems that launch missiles from the submarines.
- From February to July, as he was shaping the defense bill and working for that submarine funding, Perdue reported selling off all his shares of BWX—reaping a healthy profit in the process. The senator’s final financial disclosure form for the year 2019 reported earnings of $15,000 to $50,000 in his trading of BWX.
- The company’s stock price also rose from the time Perdue first bought, in December and January, through the six-month window during which he sold off the shares.
- Scott Amey, the general counsel of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonpartisan good-government advocacy group, said it’s concerning that a lawmaker like Perdue would invest in a defense stock out of the thousands of stocks available, given his specific responsibilities on the Armed Services Committee.
- “Members have inside information about our national security and defense spending, and personally benefiting from that information should be banned,” Amey said.
- Perdue’s investment in BWX is not the first time the senator, one of the most active stock traders in Congress and one of its wealthiest members, has engaged in conspicuously timed trading.
- Kedric Payne, who analyzes stock trades at the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan money-in-politics advocacy group, said Perdue’s example is the very reason why many lawmakers avoid trading individual stocks.
- “It is nearly impossible to make decisions affecting an industry and then receive a personal financial benefit without appearing to have a conflict of interest,” said Payne. “Even if officials rely on financial advisors to make trading decisions on their behalf, the perception of conflicts of interest remains because the public does not know if there are winks and nods prompting the trades.”
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