Thursday, May 21, 2020
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina is under federal investigation for his dumping of stocks before the pandemic caused the market to crash. Was it insider trading? What about the other lawmakers who also unloaded stocks? The ProPublica reporter who helped break the story weighs in, as well as the author of the law that took aim at Congress' stock activities.
The investigation escalated last week with the FBI's seizure of Burr's cellphone at his home, prompting him to temporarily step down as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Commitee.
Burr has denied any wrongdoing. "Everybody ought to let this investigation play out," he said Thursday.
Q: "You resigned your chairmanship. Why did you choose to make the decision?"
Sen. Richard Burr: "This is a distraction to the hard work of the committee and the members and I think the security of the country's too important to have a distraction." pic.twitter.com/KIHIzUiidk
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 14, 2020
Other lawmakers' stock activities have also surfaced since reporting by ProPublica shed light on Burr's unloading of "a significant percentage of his stocks" days before the stock market lost 30% of its value. But Burr remains "the primary target" of investigators, The New York Times reported.
Robert Faturechi, ProPublica investigative reporter (@RobertFaturechi)
Tyler Gellasch, fellow at Duke University School of Law's Global Financial Markets Center; executive director of the Healthy Markets Association (@TylerGellasch)