With Donald Trump weighing down the Republicans’ prospects in 2020, Mitch McConnell faces the very real prospect of losing his status as Senate Majority Leader after November. In fact he has a chance of losing his own seat, thanks to upstart Democratic challenger Amy McGrath. But now McConnell faces a potentially more immediate problem that could cost him the Majority Leader position much sooner.
Thus far tonight, financial records have emerged which suggest that Republican Senators Richard Burr, Kelly Loeffler, Jim Inhofe, and Rob Johnson may have committed felony insider trading violations of the 2012 STOCK Act, when they sold off their personal stock market holdings last month based on secret knowledge that the coronavirus crisis was far worse than the government was letting on.
It’ll be up to a judge and jury to sort out the legal ramifications for each of these Republican Senators. But it raises the very real prospect that they could start cutting resignation-for-immunity deals with the DOJ, or just resigning outright and hoping their financial transgressions are forgotten about amid the chaos. Based on the states they’re from, Loeffler and Inhofe would almost certainly be replaced by Republicans, but Burr and Johnson would probably be replaced by Democrats.
You see where this is going, right? If just the four of them were to resign, and two of them were replaced by Democrats, the Republicans would keep a slight Senate majority. But are we supposed to believe that just these four Republican Senators committed these violations? All you’d need is few more of them to get caught in the act, and if they did all start resigning to try to protect themselves, the Senate majority could conceivably shift to the Democrats – meaning Chuck Schumer would become Senate Majority Leader before we even get to the November election. That sounds unreal, of course. But we’re now entering unreal times.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report