One of the calming voices prior to the coronavirus outbreak being declared a pandemic was Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC).
As it turns out, though, Burr’s calming voice may have only been a smokescreen to protect his investments. And if the reports that the senator engaged in insider trading are true, Fox News star Tucker Carlson says Burr must resign from his position.
Burr, no matter how you look at this, seems to be someone that took advantage of information gained during the early stages of this crisis. The optics are made worse by the fact that he had penned an op-ed on February 7th saying that our country was “better prepared than ever for coronavirus.”
After making that statement, however, he proceeded to dump enormous amounts of stock. According to Fox News, “Burr sold between $582,029 and $1.56 million of his holdings on Feb. 13.”
Not only that but he also reportedly purchased significant shares of a teleworking software developer. What makes it even look shadier is the fact that the stocks he dumped are largely being reported as hospitality stocks, a segment of the market that has been hit the hardest.
The fact he did this without making a statement, disavowing his op-ed, or warning Americans has many wondering if he used the information he gained as a Senator to make this decision, including Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, who said, “He had inside information about what could happen to our country, which is now happening. But he didn’t warn the public. He didn’t give a primetime address. He didn’t go on television to sound the alarm. He didn’t even disavow an op-ed he’d written just 10 days before claiming America was “better prepared than ever for coronavirus.”
“He didn’t do any of those things. Instead, what did he do? He dumped his shares in hotel stocks so he wouldn’t lose money, and then he stayed silent,” Carlson said. “Maybe there is an honest explanation for what he did. If there is, he should share it with the rest of us immediately. Otherwise, he must resign from the Senate and face prosecution for insider trading. There is no greater moral crime than betraying your country in a time crisis, and that appears to be what happened.” Watch:
Sadly, Burr is not the only one, as there have been at least three other Senators who did the same and it would not be surprising to learn that between the House and Senate, there may have been dozens of elected representatives that engaged in this unethical behavior.
According to The Hill, this insider trading scandal was a bipartisan effort. On Thursday, the outlet reported that “Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), James Inhofe (R-OK), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) each sold hundreds of thousands of dollars in stocks within days of the Senate holding a classified briefing on Jan. 24 with Trump administration officials on the threat of the coronavirus outbreak.”
Burr is not doing himself any favors in trying to explain this away. While Breitbart reported that he welcomes an ethics probe, his excuse, per a tweet, was that he did not use the information he gained in Senate committee meetings, but information from regular news outlets…
My statement in response to reports about recent financial disclosures: pic.twitter.com/J4kye5a4ok
— Richard Burr (@SenatorBurr) March 20, 2020
Asking the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate this is like asking the mafia to run the trial of a crime boss. If Burr is found guilty, it will open up a can of worms in all of Congress but if they find him innocent, which they will, he gets off scot-free and this practice of elected officials using inside information for their benefit will continue.
We don’t need an Ethics Committee to look into this, we need a legitimate outside investigation with no attachment to our government. Do that, and Burr — and many others — may not be very happy with the outcome.