When President Trump punched back Friday on Twitter at Senator Bob Corker’s (R-TN) relentless criticisms as “outrageous,” it electrified the conservative base among Tennessee Republican primary voters who continue to be very supportive of the president.
State Senator Mark Green (R-Clarksville) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN-07) are among those who may now be considering a challenge to Corker in the August 2018 primary.
A Tennessee Star Poll conducted in June among likely Tennessee Republican primary voters showed that Corker was vulnerable. In a hypothetical one-on-one primary matchup with Blackburn, the two were in a statistical tie.
The negative press Corker has received in Tennessee for his criticisms of President Trump may soon get worse.
The SEC investigation of Sen. Corker and CBL, “A real-estate firm that has been a favored investment of Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker,” first reported by the Wall Street Journal in May 2016, may soon come to a conclusion.
No one knows what that investigation may conclude, but when news of the investigation was made public, it caused quite a stir.
In fact, Ann Weiman, executive director of the Camapign for Accountability (CfA), a non profit watchdog organization that had called for the SEC investigation several months earlier, said at the time “CfA is gratified to see the FBI and SEC are investigating Sen. Corker. Sen. Corker’s pattern of buying CBL stock low, selling high, and reaping a huge profit are highly suspicious. In 2012, as a result of public outcry over potential insider trading by members of Congress, the STOCK Act became law. The inquiry into Sen. Corker’s actions demonstrates that not even powerful senators are above the law.”
Sources tell The Tennessee Star the yet-to-formally announce Corker campaign team is very nervous about what that SEC investigation may report when it finally concludes. Odds are the results will be known well before the August 2018 Republican primary for the Tennessee U.S. Senate seat Corker currently holds.
You can read the full CfA press release here:
On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI and the SEC are investigating Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) for his lucrative stock trades of real estate investment giant CBL Associates Properties, a real estate company based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Federal officials are investigating Sen. Corker’s ties to the company’s executives as well as the company’s accounting practices. Sen. Corker is close to several top employees at the firm, and he has made millions of dollars by making auspiciously timed trades of the company’s stock.
In November, Campaign for Accountability (“CfA”) called on the SEC to investigate Sen. Corker for his trades of CBL stock.
CfA Executive Director Anne Weisman said, “CfA is gratified to see the FBI and SEC are investigating Sen. Corker. Sen. Corker’s pattern of buying CBL stock low, selling high, and reaping a huge profit are highly suspicious. In 2012, as a result of public outcry over potential insider trading by members of Congress, the STOCK Act became law. The inquiry into Sen. Corker’s actions demonstrates that not even powerful senators are above the law.”
Between 2008 and 2015, Sen. Corker, his wife and daughters made at least 70 trades of stock in CBL – more than triple the number of transactions he made of any other stock. Some of the trades closely preceded company announcements that led to changes in the stock’s price and seemingly resulted in the senator making millions of dollars.
Further, in March, CfA filed a second complaint against Sen. Corker alleging he concealed information about his stake in several Tennessee hedge funds managed by his campaign donors. Between 2013 and 2015, it appears Sen. Corker failed to disclose the underlying assets in at least six hedge funds in violation of Senate rules. In addition, he may have failed to disclose at least $2 million in income from the funds.
Ms. Weismann continued, “Sen. Corker is one of the richest members of the Senate. The question now is whether he came by that great wealth honestly.”
CfA is nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.