The FBI served a search warrant to Senator Richard Burr and seized his cell phone as part of an investigation into whether he violated the law by trading stocks just as covid-19 arrived in the U.S.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sold off a substantial percentage of his stock portfolio—as much as $1.72 million—over the course of 33 transactions on February 13. This just so happens to correspond with the period when his committee was receiving daily intelligence briefings on the progress of coronavirus—also, coincidentally, a week before the stock market plummeted.
In March, the New York Times reported that Burr warned a group at Capitol Hill Club in Washington that the virus would spread quickly and be socially and economically destabilizing. Alice Fisher, a former U.S. assistant attorney general who is advising Burr, said earlier this month that the Senator “participated in the stock market based on public information.”
Burr is not the only senator under investigation for dubious stock dealings. Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler also dumped a bunch of stocks valued between $1.25 and $3.1 million in companies that later lost value, including ExxonMobil. She also loaded up on shares of Citrix, which makes telework software. Prescient!