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14 May, 2020 17:55

Richard Burr to step down as Senate intel chair during FBI’s probe into suspicious stock dumps before Covid-19 market crash

Richard Burr to step down as Senate intel chair during FBI’s probe into suspicious stock dumps before Covid-19 market crash

Republican Senator Richard Burr will step down from his post as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee pending a probe into suspicious stock trades he made before the Covid-19 crisis hit US markets.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that Burr had contacted him to say he would not remain in the role “during the pendency of the investigation.”

McConnell said it had been agreed that the decision was “in the best interests of the committee” and would be effective from the end of the day on Friday. 

The decision comes hours after FBI agents seized the North Carolina senator’s private cell phone as part of the probe and served him with a search warrant.

Also on rt.com FBI serves search warrant, seizes Sen. Richard Burr's phone amid probe into insider trading before Covid-19 market crash – reports

Burr became the subject of a federal lawsuit back in March following reports from ProPublica which revealed suspicious stock trading activity. The Republican lawmaker, who was privy to daily classified briefings about the Covid-19 situation, dumped between $628,000 and $1.7 million in stock holdings during 33 transactions in mid-February just before the crisis began to hit the US.

Burr has denied using his position to inform personal trading decisions. 

The Department of Justice is also investigating Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), whose husband dumped over $1 million in stock of a biotech firm in January. Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler is also being investigated after selling up to $3.1 million in stocks after attending a Senate Health Committee briefing in January.

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