Tags: Coronavirus | richard burr | fbi | gerald fauth | stocks | probe | sell-off

FBI Seizes Sen. Burr's Cellphone in Stock Sell-Off Probe

richard burr sitting and speaking at a hearing wearing a suit and blue shirt and yellow tie
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. (Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2020 07:25 AM

The FBI is moving forward in its probe of Sen. Richard Burr for dumping stocks as the coronavirus outbreak began quietly spreading across the U.S. 

Law enforcement agents served the Republican senator from North Carolina a warrant on Wednesday night and seized a cellphone, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Justice Department is investigating stock trades the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee made as he was receiving daily coronavirus briefings. 

Lawmakers privy to intelligence are not allowed to act on information they obtain because of their position. Burr sat on two committees that received early coronavirus briefings. One day prior to his stock sales, the health committee he serves on received a briefing.

A law enforcement official said the Justice Department wanted the cellphone to examine Burr’s communications with his broker.

A second law enforcement official said FBI agents had already served a warrant to Apple seeking information from Burr’s iCloud account. Evidence they found on his iCloud led them to ask for the cellphone, the official said. 

Burr got rid of a large percentage of his stock portfolio and made 33 different transactions on Feb. 13, which was publicly disclosed. ProPublica first reported the sales, which ranged between $628,000 and $1.72 million. 

Burr said he would ask the Senate Select Committee on Ethics to review his financial moves. 

The STOCK Act, which allows lawmakers to own stock and requires them to disclose their activity, is the rule that bars them from acting on privileged information. The law passed in the Senate in 2012, but Burr was one of three senators who voted against the rule. 

Burr’s brother-in-law Gerald Fauth also got rid of several stocks on Feb. 13, according to Office of Government Ethics records. Fauth serves on the National Mediation Board, which handles labor issues in the railroad and airline industries. 

The newspaper reports that Burr has denied coordinating trading with his brother-in-law. The sell-offs happened before the market took a steep decline. 

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Politics
The FBI is moving forward in its probe of Sen. Richard Burr for dumping stocks as the coronavirus outbreak began quietly spreading across the U.S. Law enforcement agents served the Republican senator from North Carolina a warrant on Wednesday night and...
richard burr, fbi, gerald fauth, stocks, probe, sell-off
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2020-25-14
Thursday, 14 May 2020 07:25 AM
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