‘Wanting his kids to testify was a red line…’
(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Richard Burr, R-NC, is in hot water for potential illegal insider trading, and there’s been a conspicuous absence of support from a key Republican leader—President Donald Trump.
Despite being a key GOP senate seat from a critical battleground state, Trump has many good reasons—personal and professional—to let Burr fend for himself.
Federal agents served a surprise search warrant on Burr last week as part of the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation into suspicious stock sales that occurred after a private Wuhan virus congressional briefing in January—or just before the coronavirus economic meltdown.
Agents seized Burr’s phone and are believed to be probing communications with his investment broker. Authorities had already gained access to his Apple iCloud account.
When reporters asked Trump about Burr’s predicament, he simply replied, “That’s too bad.”
Burr’s home state of North Carolina is a must-win for Trump in November, and the 2020 Republican National Convention will be held in Charlotte in August. The state’s other Republican U.S. senator, Thom Tillis, is also facing a tough reelection bid.
But spending political capital on behalf of Burr could damage Trump’s standing, especially as Burr appears to have wrongfully profited while many North Carolinians have suffered amid the harsh economic downturn.
According to his financial disclosures, 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 virus.
Burr, who stepped down from his influential Senate Intelligence Committee chairmanship on Thursday, worked with Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the committee’s vice-chair, and other Democrats to further the debunked Russia collusion hoax over the past three years.
He even issued a subpoena last year to President Trump’s son Don Jr. after special counsel Robert Mueller completed his partisan Russian election interference report — which found no evidence of collusion whatsoever.
“Wanting his kids to testify was a red line,” an anonymous GOP official close to the White House told Politico last week.
Burr then authorized a report that affirmed dubious findings from a January 2017 intelligence community report that was composed by outgoing Obama administration officials.
The next most-senior Republican in line to assume the top leadership role on the committee would be Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, a much more vocal supporter of the White House, although Risch already chairs the Committee on Foreign Relations.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell ultimately will determine who replaces Burr as the next chairman.
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted on Thursday to suggest that Burr had been hindering many of the president’s priorities on the Intel Committee and expressed hope that the next chair would make more progress on some of Trump’s priorities.
Now I hope we see some action. https://t.co/LLfTWufxCj
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 14, 2020