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Sen. Kelly Loeffler. Photo: Toni L. Sandys-Pool/Getty Images

The Justice Department is closing its inquiries into stock selloffs by Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that occurred after the lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll, the Wall Street Journal first reported.

The big picture: The investigation into trades by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who stepped down as chair of Senate Intelligence Committee pending the results of the inquiry, is reportedly continuing. Burr's cell phone was seized by the FBI earlier this month.

  • Burr had more direct involvement in his trades than the senators, and claims he relied on CNBC reports coming out of Asia — not private briefings — to make his decisions.
  • Burr's sale of over $1.72 million of stock on Feb. 13 included stake in the hotel chains Wyndham and Extended Stay America.

Catch up quick: Loeffler, Inhofe and Feinstein sold off hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock following briefings in January that detailed the potential economic devastation of the coming pandemic.

  • Lawmakers are prohibited from insider trading via the 2012 "Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act," which blocks members of Congress and their staff from managing investment portfolios based on nonpublic information.

All three senators claim they had no personal involvement in the selloffs, and did not use their knowledge of the virus' incoming toll to influence the decisions of their investment managers.

  • Only Loeffler is up for re-election this year, and she is facing a hotly contested primary against Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.)
  • Polling shows the allegations of misconduct have hurt Loeffler's standing with constituents.

Go deeper

Democrats outraged over intel chief's move to halt in-person election briefings

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) slammed Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe as a "Trump stooge" for his decision to no longer provide in-person briefings to Congress on election security issues, joining the chorus of Democrats who have condemned the move.

The big picture: Ratcliffe, a Trump loyalist who was confirmed for the position overseeing U.S. intelligence agencies in May, said he made the decision to only provide written briefings in order to prevent leaks. Democrats say that suspending in-person briefings to Congress will allow Ratcliffe to skirt accountability and avoid follow-up questions.

Harry and Meghan accuse British royal family of racism

Photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via Reuters

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle delivered a devastating indictment of the U.K. royal family in their conservation with Oprah Winfrey: Both said unnamed relatives had expressed concern about what the skin tone of their baby would be. And they accused "the firm" of character assassination and "perpetuating falsehoods."

Why it matters: An institution that thrives on myth now faces harsh reality. The explosive two-hour interview gave an unprecedented, unsparing window into the monarchy: Harry said his father and brother "are trapped," and Markle revealed that the the misery of being a working royal drove her to thoughts of suicide.

Updated 3 hours ago - Axios Twin Cities

In photos: Thousands rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Demonstrators on March 7 outside the Hennepin County Government Center, where the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murdering George Floyd, will begin in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands of protesters marched through Minneapolis' streets Sunday, urging justice for George Floyd on the eve of the start of former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death, per AFP.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start Monday, with jury selection procedures.