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Charlotte Talks: Richard Burr's Stock Sales Under Scrutiny

Twitter / @SenatorBurr

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.

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.

Subsequent reporting by ProPublica examined Burr's selling of shares of a Dutch fertilizer company before its stock collapse, a real estate transaction and more


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)

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A veteran of Charlotte radio news, Chris joined the "Charlotte Talks" staff in January 2016, but has been listening to WFAE since discovering the station as a high schooler.