Lincoln Project Calls GOP Senator David Perdue 'Chicken' Over Defensive 'Totally Exonerated' Campaign Ad

The Lincoln Project called Republican Georgia Senator David Perdue "chicken" on Twitter Tuesday after Perdue released a new TV ad claiming that he was "totally exonerated" from corruption allegations raised by his Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff.

The new ad, entitled "Stock Lies," addresses corruption allegations surrounding Perdue being investigated for insider trading. Perdue previously invested hundreds of thousands in a pharmaceutical company and producer of personal protective equipment following a January 24 closed Senate briefing on the coming coronavirus epidemic.

Perdue's new ad claims that he wasn't at the January 24 senate briefing and that he was "totally exonerated" of any wrongdoing by a bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In response to Perdue's new ad, the Lincoln Project wrote on Twitter: "David Perdue is... Chicken, Corrupt, Going to lose his job #GASen".

David Perdue is...
✅ Chicken
✅ Corrupt
✅ Going to lose his job#GASen

— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) December 1, 2020

In a now-viral clip from their October 28 debate, Ossoff accused Perdue of botching Georgia's coronavirus response because he had to fend off "multiple federal investigations for insider trading." Following the debate, Perdue canceled all future debates with Ossoff. Ossoff replied by calling the senator "a coward."

Shortly after a January 24 closed Senate briefing on the coming coronavirus epidemic, Perdue purchased $260,000 of stock in the COVID vaccine-developer Pfizer, $105,000 in the personal protective equipment manufacturer DuPont, and he sold off $165,000 in stocks from the casino company Caesars Entertainment, which shuttered during the pandemic's early days.

Sen. David Perdue doesn't deserve to be re-elected.

— Jon Ossoff (@ossoff) October 29, 2020

While an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee cleared Perdue of any wrongdoing, "no formal documentation" backs up the Perdue campaign's claim that the DOJ and SEC also exonerated the senator of financial misdeeds, a Perdue campaign spokesperson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in September.

David Perdue ad Lincoln Project corruption chicken
Republican Senator David Perdue of Georgia has been criticized by a Republican-led Political Action Committee, The Lincoln Project, for a new ad which addresses accusations of corruption raised by Perdue's political opponent, Democratic senatorial candidate Jon Ossoff. In this May 6, 2020 photo, Perdue asks questions during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. Greg Nash - Pool/Getty

On November 19, The Daily Beast reported that in December 2018 Perdue purchased $190,000 worth of stock in BWX Technologies, a manufacturer of parts for Virginia-class submarines used by the Navy, shortly before he named as Seapower chairman, the head of a Senate subcommittee that oversees the Navy and helps draft the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The 2019 NDAA allocated $4.7 billion for Virginia-class submarines. BWX is one of two of three companies with Department of Defense contracts that manufactures their essential parts, according to the Beast. Perdue made anywhere from $15,000 to $50,000 in his BWX stock trades. The NDAA submarine contract helped improve the value of BWX's stock price.

A Perdue campaign spokesperson defended the trades by claiming that they had been "handled by outside financial advisors without [Perdue's] prior input or approval."

On November 20, the American Democracy Legal Fund, a liberal watchdog group, filed a complaint with the SEC accusing Perdue of insider trading for the deal. A 2012 federal law called the STOCK Act prevents members of government from engaging in financial activity with any nonpublic knowledge they receive in their official capacities.

Newsweek contacted Perdue's office for comment.