Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) has stepped down as the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee after the FBI got a warrant and seized his cell phone.
Senate Majority Leader McConnell announced that Burr is stepping down from his powerful committee chairmanship:
JUST IN: Sen. Burr stepping down as Senate Intel Cmte. chairman during investigation into stock trades, Senate Majority Leader McConnell says. pic.twitter.com/9Dj1aQM6tD
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) May 14, 2020
Video from MSNBC:
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) steps down as Senate Intelligence Committee Chair after the FBI took his cell phone in insider trading investigation. pic.twitter.com/WJQwytV4SL
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) May 14, 2020
Sen. Burr’s office said he is stepping down so that he doesn’t distract the Senate Intelligence Committee:
Just spoke to Sen. Burr outside is office on his decision to resign his chairmanship: "This is a distraction to the hard work of the committee and the members and I think the security of the country is too important to have a distraction"
— Allison Pecorin (@AllisonMPecorin) May 14, 2020
Sen. Burr is currently under investigation for insider trading after he dumped $1.6 million in stocks before the coronavirus hit the United States. The FBI is investigating the Senator from North Carolina for using information gained from his position as Intelligence Committee chairman to avoid the stock market crash that came with the pandemic.
Burr also gave his top donors a secret briefing telling them to prepare for the virus, while he was downplaying the threat to the public.
It is going to be difficult for the federal government to charge Burr with a crime unless there is smoking-gun evidence on his phone, but it is unlikely that leaving the Intel Committee will be enough to save him from resigning.
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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