Believed to be probing communications between the NC Senator and his stock broker…
UPDATE from CNN: “Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina is stepping aside as chairman of the influential Senate Intelligence Committee while he’s under investigation for stock trades he made ahead of the market downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.”
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: (Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) Federal agents served a search warrant on Sen. Richard Burr, (R-North Carolina), Wednesday night as part of the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation into potentially illegal stock sales that occurred after a private Wuhan virus congressional briefing in late January — or just before the coronavirus economic meltdown.
Agents surprised Burr at his Washington, D.C.-area home and seized his cell phone. The search warrant was based on evidence obtained from a previous warrant that was issued to Apple last week, which provided access to Burr’s iCloud account.
Federal authorities are now believed to be probing communications between Burr and his investment broker.
Serving a search warrant on a sitting U.S. senator, and chairman of the prestigious Senate Intelligence Committee, would require approval from the highest ranks of the Justice Department, according to the Los Angeles Times, which broke the story late last night.
Burr has consistently denied any wrongdoing and welcomed an ethics review when his financial disclosures showed the appearance of insider trading last month. It is illegal for members of Congress to make financial transactions based on information from their official work.
As Liberty Headlines previously reported, Burr liquidated between $628,000 and $1.72 million worth of stock on Feb. 13, or a few weeks after the Senate was briefed on Jan. 24 about the severity of the Wuhan virus.
He’s one of four known senators to have made significant stock selloffs after the confidential senate briefing with Trump administration public health officials. The others are Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.; James Inhofe, R-Okla.; and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Burr’s support for the Mueller investigation and debunked Russia collusion narratives has alienated him from Trump-supporting conservatives, and he’s been on thin ice with his remaining GOP supporters since his alleged financial malfeasance.
“If it is proven that they’ve done something illegal or unethical, they will have to be significantly punished,” said Larry Kudlow, Director of the White House Economic Council, in a livestream last month.
Burr has insisted that he relied solely on public news reports while making his stock trades.
“The law is clear that any American — including a Senator — may participate in the stock market based on public information, as Senator Burr did,” his lawyer, Alice Fisher, said in a statement.
To obtain the search warrants, both law enforcement officers and prosecutors would have had to persuade a federal judge that they had probable cause to believe a crime was committed.