Report: Former Dodgers co-owner among ambassadors who sold stocks as President Trump downplayed pandemic

Jack Baer
·3 min read

There was a familiar name for Los Angeles Dodgers fans among a group of several U.S. ambassadors that reportedly sold their stocks while President Donald Trump publicly downplayed the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. It was not a welcome one.

CNBC reports that the group includes current France ambassador Jamie McCourt, whose divorce from husband Frank McCourt while they owned the Dodgers created a public spectacle rarely seen from MLB owners.

The group reportedly sold stocks worth millions of dollars in January and February while the coronavirus threat loomed, but had not reached the full-blown pandemic stage. Other politicians, including Atlanta Dream owner Kelly Loeffler, have previously landed in hot water for similar transactions.

McCourt’s involvement, via CNBC:

McCourt, the U.S. ambassador to France, sold her shares on Jan. 17 in what’s described on her financial disclosure as the “A.J. Capital Graduate Hotel Fund III.” She made anywhere between $1 million and $5 million on that divestiture alone, and up to an additional $10 million on other stock sales that same day. The Centers for Disease Control and other U.S. government agencies, at the time, announced that they were enacting health screenings for those traveling from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak is believed to have begun.

The other ambassadors reportedly involved were Italy ambassador Lewis Eisenberg, Morocco ambassador David Fischer and Uruguay ambassador Kenneth George.

McCourt was appointed ambassador to France, among the most desirable posts in the world, by Trump in 2017. She had previously donated more than $400,000 to the Trump Victory fund, $50,800 to the Trump inauguration and more than $170,000 to the Republican National Committee. Per CNBC, she has since donated another six-figure check to the Trump Victory fund for his 2020 campaign.

AUGUST 30, 2010. LOS ANGELES, CA. Jamie McCourt leaves the LACounty Court for the midday recess on Aug 30, 2010. A non–jury trial began this morning concerning whether Frank McCourt alone owns the Dodgers or whether his estranged wife, Jamie McCourt, also has a claim in the team. The dispute is at the heart of the ongoing divorce proceedings between them.  (Photo by Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
It has been a decade since Jamie McCourt's divorce from Frank McCourt created a nightmare for MLB and Dodgers fans. (Photo by Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

McCourt’s Dodgers co-ownership was a disaster

It’s not often see you a major North American sports team file for bankruptcy in the age of monstrous revenues, but that is the level of mess the McCourt divorce created for MLB.

After buying the team alongside Frank McCourt in 2004, Jamie McCourt became president of the Dodgers in 2005. Among the most infamous moves under their leadership: paying a Russian “scientist and healer” six figures to watch Dodgers games and channel positive thoughts for the team. Yes, really.

The pair separated in 2009 and began divorce proceedings, at which point the ownership and value of the Dodgers became the center of an ugly legal battle. They eventually reached a settlement in which Jamie McCourt received $130 million and relinquished any claim of the Dodgers, which seemed like a decent deal until her ex-husband turned around and sold the team for $2 billion months later.

Jamie McCourt then sued for a cut of that sale while claiming she had been misled about the value of the team. Her lawsuit was later dismissed.

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