Burr Steps Down From Senate Panel Amid Insider Trading Probe

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., listens to testimony before the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on Tuesday. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

(CN) — Senator Richard Burr stepped down from his role as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, a day after the FBI served the North Carolina Republican with a search warrant as part of a probe into his recent stock sales.

“Senator Burr contacted me this morning to inform me of his decision to step aside as chairman of the Intelligence Committee during the pendency of the investigation,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said in a statement on Thursday. 

Burr made 33 individual stock sales on Feb. 13, roughly a week before the market began to take a nosedive.

In the two months prior to making the sudden sales, the senator had reportedly received classified intelligence briefings about the severe looming impacts of coronavirus pandemic.

It was also later reported that Burr’s brother-in-law Gerald Fauth, who was appointed by President Donald Trump to the National Mediation Board, sold tens of thousands of dollars worth of stock on the same day as Burr.

The circumstance drew further suspicion from intelligence officials since Burr had access to reports in January and February that had issued dire warnings about the possible financial effects of the Covid-19 crisis.

On Wednesday evening, federal agents served Burr with a search warrant and seized his cellphone as part of an investigation of possible insider trading.

 “We agreed that this decision would be in the best interests of the committee and will be effective at the end of the day tomorrow,” McConnell said of Burr’s resignation.

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