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FBI seizes Sen. Richard Burr's phone amid investigation into pre-pandemic stock sale, reports say

FBI seizes Sen. Richard Burr's phone amid investigation into pre-pandemic stock sale, reports say
Posted at 7:53 AM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 08:49:43-04

  • The FBI conducted a search warrant on Sen. Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), multiple media outlets report.
  • Burr sold millions in stock in the weeks ahead of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic meltdown.
  • Burr is a member of the Senate Intel Committee and received briefings on the virus.
  • He maintains that he relied on public media reports when making financial decisions.

The FBI has seized the cellphone of Sen. Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) in connection with an investigation into Burr's sale of stocks in the weeks leading up to the coronavirus pandemic's arrival in the United States, according to The Los Angeles Times and NBC News.

Burr reportedly turned over his phone after federal agents conducted a search warrant at his home in Washington.

In March, reports emerged that Burr quietly sold $1.6 million worth of stocks in the weeks before COVID-19 reached the U.S. Privately, Burr told donors that the virus would have dire consequences for Americans. But publicly, he told his constituents not to worry about the virus.

Burr has maintained that he relied on public news sources while making financial decisions. Burr is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and received confidential briefings on the virus' potential impact from the nation's top health experts.

According to NBC News, Burr has previously stated that he will not seek re-election. He was previously last elected in 2016, and his term expires in 2022.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia) also sold substantial amounts of stock in the weeks leading up to the coronavirus pandemic.