Georgia Senator David Perdue profited from a Navy contractor’s stock while overseeing the Naval fleet.

Senator David Perdue, one of two Republican senators from Georgia facing runoff elections in January, began making large and ultimately profitable purchases of shares in a Navy contractor in 2018 just before taking over as chair of a Senate subcommittee overseeing the Navy fleet.

The disclosure, first reported Wednesday by The Daily Beast, comes as both Mr. Perdue and Georgia's other senator, Kelly Loeffler, have been under fire for their stock trades.

Mr. Perdue, a millionaire and formerly a prolific trader of individual stocks, announced in May that he would divest from his large individual stock holdings after questions were raised about his well-timed purchases of Pfizer stock in February, after senators were briefed on the coronavirus threat.

At a debate last month, Mr. Perdue's Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, called him a "crook" who sought to profit from the pandemic. Mr. Perdue has since twice refused to debate Mr. Ossoff.

"Senator Perdue doesn't manage his trades, they are handled by outside financial advisors without his prior input or approval," a spokeswoman for Mr. Perdue said in response to the report about Mr. Perdue's trades in shares of the Navy contractor, BWX Technologies, which supplies nuclear components and fuel for submarines and aircraft carriers.

In the six weeks before the January 2019 announcementthat Mr. Perdue was taking over as chair of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower, he bought a total of $40,000 to $290,000 worth of BWX on dates when prices averaged about $40 per share, according to a Times analysis of Senate filings. The filings give only a value range for stock transactions, making it impossible to know how many shares are bought and sold.

In the month after his appointment, the stock jumped more than 25 percent. Mr. Perdue sold his stock on dates from February to July 2019 when prices averaged more than $50 per share. In June of that year, he announced that he had helped push through additional funding for the Navy in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020, including money for an extra submarine.

As subcommittee chair, Mr. Perdue has been a strong proponent of increasing Navy spending. "In this era of great power competition, there is no question our Navy needs to grow larger and become more capable," he told a committee meeting in December 2019, after he had sold his BWX shares.

While not officially prohibited, individual stock trades by members of Congress have long raised questions, according to Kedric Payne, general counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan watchdog group.

"This is just a perfect example of why many members of Congress have decided on their own to not trade individual stocks, even though there is no evidence of insider trading. It still begs the question of whether his official actions are somehow motivated by personal interest."

"David Perdue's corruption and self-dealing are flagrant," Mr. Ossoff said in response to the Daily Beast article. "He is blatantly exploiting his office to line his own pockets. This conduct is utterly inexcusable."

A spokesman for BWX Technologies, Jud Simmons, said the company was not aware that Mr. Perdue had been a shareholder until recent media reports. "Like other companies, BWX Technologies is not aware of, and does not control, purchases of its stock by individuals," Mr. Simmons said.


Stephanie Saul covers national politics. Since joining The Times in 2005, she has also written about the pharmaceutical industry, education and the illicit foreign money fueling Manhattan's real estate boom. @stefsaul

Andy Newman writes about jobs and the people who do them. He has covered New York City and vicinity for The Times for 25 years and written nearly 4,000 stories and blog posts.

This appeared in the New York Times on November 19, 2020, with the title. David Perdue profited from a Navy contractor's stock while overseeing the Naval fleet.


November 25, 2020

Voices4America Post Script. This story about Georgia Senator David Perdue - he who pretended he couldn't pronounce Kamala's name and he who won't debate Jon Ossoff-gives another reason to get rid of him. There were also his insider trades when he benefitted from Covid briefing. #PerdueIsACrook

This is one of two runoffs in Georgia on January 5th that will determine whether the Senate is blue and McConnell and his GOP cronies like Perdue can stop Joe's policies and appointees . #Ossoff4GA #BlueSenate2021

Today, there was more coverage of Perdue's criminality too.

Stock trades made by David Perdue, who faces a runoff in Georgia, prompted a Justice Department inquiry.

Breaking. Despite Perdue lies, Goldman says he directed his own trades.

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