Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) dumped $1.6 million in stock before the market crashed based on early briefings he received on the coronavirus.
Soon after he offered public assurances that the government was ready to battle the coronavirus, the powerful chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, sold off a significant percentage of his stocks, unloading between $582,029 and $1.56 million of his holdings on Feb. 13 in 29 separate transactions.
As the head of the intelligence committee, Burr, a North Carolina Republican, has access to the government’s most highly classified information about threats to America’s security. His committee was receiving daily coronavirus briefings around this time.
Burr is also in the news for warning a group of his political donors to prepare for the coronavirus three weeks before the first death in the United States. As he was making public comments downplaying the impact of the virus, Sen. Burr was dumping his stock and privately warning his donors to prepare for the worst.
Believe it or not, Sen. Burr’s activities were not illegal. There is no law against members of Congress using information that they gain through their position in the stock market. Burr is not one of the richest members of the Senate, but he was still able to avoid a 30% stock loss by using information that other investors didn’t have.
It’s not fair, and it is a practice the needs to be made illegal.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association